Waterboarding, though rarely fatal, is so extreme that it is considered an illegal practice, even when dealing with terrorists. The problem being, if the person undergoing the technique is not a terrorist (or other people with information to give that could save lives), the horror may have been applied for nothing. While this is debated, many are asking what the punishment should be for parents who waterboard their own child. CBS Pittsburgh reports that was the case with Malisa Stevens and Dion Stevens, of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.
The couple took a plea deal after it was revealed that they had waterboarded their own 12-year-old daughter as a form of discipline! Due to the agreement, while rightfully frightening to many residents, the couple will be walking the streets on probation “for the next five to seven years.”
Even stranger, after having subjected the young girl to the abuse, it is being reported that the “family can also be reunited under supervision.” So, from this, it can be gathered that either the parents showed that they have seen the errors of their ways and really do love their daughter or the court has made a dreadful error.
“We have entered into a tentative plea agreement with the district attorney’s office. It’s my hope that the agreement will be upheld. It’s an agreement that is geared toward family unification,” declared defense attorney Lee Rothman. As disturbing as it sounds, it was the daughter who pushed for this agreement, so the path chosen does make a bit more sense with that fact taken into account.
“My client Mr. Dion Stevens’ goal was to reunify with his daughter and I believe that his daughter has expressed the same token here today, and after discussing it with the DA, I think we are on the next step to reach that goal,” stated defense attorney Brandon Eberle.
While all of the details of the agreement are still being ironed out, both parents “plead guilty to a felony county of endangering the welfare of a child” in order for it become a possibility.
Because of this, Rothman also said, “The district attorney’s office has also agreed to lift the no-contact order with the mother and father with their child, and they’re to have no violent contact and there will be unification process through Children and Youth Family Services.” It seems quite the travesty that the court needs to instruct the parents not to be violent, but that is the level that this family has fallen to.
The waterboarding took place “last April at their Main Street home” and the details are so petrifying that it makes one wonder how the victim could still pine for her parents. After she was “taped into a chair with packing tape,” which alone could be enough to instill a fear of confinement for life in some children.
However, that was not the half of it.
The cruel parents also tied her hands behind her mouth and savagely rammed a rag into her mouth. Then, water was poured over her mouth causing her to be unable to breathe or to scream out for help.
Showing the depth of their parenting skills, both parents said that the idea came to them after watching a movie.
As stories like this appear, it causes everyone to understand why children often act as badly as they often do. While it is common to condemn the current generation for this, there has been a history of such levels of abuse in the past, and the prisons are full of the offspring who suffered from it.
Hopefully, whether reunited with her parents or not, Ms. Stevens will overcome the experience. She has already shown a forgiving nature, of that there is no question.