South Carolina mother Sabrina Emerick and her boyfriend, Robert Saladaga arrested after rubbing hot chili pepper on children as punishment.
Robert Saladaga, who is in a relationship with the boys’ mother, Sabrina Irene Emerick, allegedly rubbed hot sauce on one child’s face, eyes and mouth, which caused him to be sick.
While police identified Saladaga as the aggressor, they wrote that the boys’ mother ‘was aware of the ongoing abuse and allowed her children to be placed at [an] unreasonable risk of harm.’
The 37-year-old man allegedly forced one of the sons to take extremely hot or cold showers at the home they shared in Greenville, as part of punishment for getting into trouble, police said.
Saladaga would also hold a pillow over a five-year-old’s face causing the child to be unable to breathe, a police warrant said.
Another warrant said Saladaga rubbed a chili pepper on one of the child’s genitals causing it to burn as a punishment for urinating on the sofa, reports Greenville News.
The boyfriend has also been accused of shooting the seven-year-old victim in the foot with a BB gun, according to Greenville Police Department.
Warrants against Emerick accuse her of holding a pillow over one of the children’s face on multiple occasions, police warrants state.
The mother and her boyfriend were each charged with unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of cruelty to children.
Saladaga is also charged with assault and battery of a ‘high and aggravated nature’, according to warrants.
The abuse of the boys took place on multiple occasions from 2017, with police launching the abuse investigation in March last year, police said.
An investigation began after information from the Department of Social Services was passed to officers.
Told Greenville Police Lt. Jason Rampey during a recent press conference, ‘Investigators have learned that each of these abuses were forms of discipline for misbehaving at school or wetting the couch wile sleeping.
‘From what we know, the mother did not participate in the abuse, but she was aware of it and allowed the children to be placed at unreasonable risk.
‘Heinous crimes against children are some of the most difficult cases we investigate.
‘The horrific stories of abuse endured by these children are sickening and reprehensible.’
Both boys have since been removed from the home and are living with a family member.
Following their arrests, Saladaga was given a $25,000 bond and Emerick was given a $10,000 bond and both were released from jail on February 15 ahead of the trial.
Saladaga has to wear an electronic monitoring and is banned from having contact with the children.