Women get combined 40+ years for child abuse
WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. – 25-year-old Besline Joseph and 30-year-old Amanda Wright will spend 24 years behind bars for admitting their roles in severely abusing three kids at their home in Mardela Springs back in January.
“This verdict, these sentences are as close to justice as we get,” exclaims Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes.
It was repeated abuse that happened over a long period of time, abuse that makes your skin crawl.
“This case was unique because of the psychological warfare that these women inflicted upon these very vulnerable children between the ages of seven and ten all at the mercy of these two women,” explains Dykes.
Three of the five kids that lived in this house for nearly seven months were beaten with a spatula, belt even an electrical cord.
They were tased and locked in the laundry room and closets for hours on end with little food or water.
It was abuse that left them with bruises, bloody noses and scars. Trauma no child should endure which is why the Wicomico County State’s Attorneys Office went for a plea deal instead of a trial.
“It was in everyone’s best interest, but mostly the victims best interest, to have these women held accountable for their conduct and plead guilty to three felony counts and to be sentenced to an active 24 years in the Division of Corrections.”
And although the trauma these children endured can’t be taken away, they can now move forward and start to heal.
And hopefully this can serve as a message to a community that never wants this to happen to another child again.
“When you see something, say something. There are indicators of child abuse that many people are aware of our teachers, everyone at our schools. But in this case it would have been the children hoarding food, them wearing clothes that covered their extremities that are not suitable for the weather, being vigilant that way,” adds Dykes.
In addition to the 24 years behind bars, both were placed on five years supervised probation which includes mental health treatment, parenting classes and restrictions on their contact with minors, plus no contact with the victims or their siblings.
Now while the abusers are behind bars, we’re told the victims can begin to recover from the trauma they experienced.
We’re told it will be a lengthy road to recovery that could even take a lifetime. Since these victims were under 10 years of age, we’re told their trauma actually interferes with the development of their brains.
That requires intense and long term therapy.
“In some cases there’s full recovery, there’s medium recovery, there’s not so much recovery. And that in my opinion really depends on two things. One is the children need to be in a safe environment where somebody is going to take care of them or they will not recover and number two the kind of treatment you need to get for that is trauma treatment,” explains Dr. Kathryn Seifert of Eastern Shore Psychological Services.
And since these victims were abused by their care takers it can cause even more trauma.
“Children expect to be taken care of by their parents and when that doesn’t happen the damage is greatly more than just even a car accident or something like that. Because it’s a violation of trust and a violation of trust is a long time healing but also the new caregivers need to be kind, loving and basically be very good parents and help with the healing process,” adds Dr. Seifert.