TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Three adults have been indicted for the alleged fatal beating of a one-year-old baby girl, while her mother is to be tried in a juvenile court, reported CNA.
A toddler died on Jan. 15 in Tainan City after suffering extensive injuries, and during questioning by police, the child's 17-year-old mother surnamed Hsueh (薛) confessed to beating her frequently. The mother's boyfriend admitted to "disciplining" the child and two cousins are suspected of abusing the toddler as well.
The Tainan District Prosecutor's Office yesterday (March 14) announced that the three adults involved in the case are being indicted on charges of homicide, among other crimes, for which prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment. While the teenage mother, Hsueh, has been taken into custody by a juvenile court.
Tainan prosecutor Yeh Ching-tsai (葉清財) pointed out that the three adult defendants lived with the mother and her daughter. The girl was under one and a half years of age and could not yet speak.
Yeh said that the four frequently lost their patience with the baby's crying and from November of last year allegedly began to beat the defenseless child with their bare hands or with various utensils. The beatings prevented the girl from her normal sleeping and feeding routine and Yeh alleges that the adults did not take the injured child to see a physician after each episode of abuse.
In the early morning of Jan. 15 this year, despite extensive bruising and her reactions becoming weak, they continued to beat her and prevented her from sleeping. By the afternoon that day, the four defendants found that the girl's body temperature had dropped, her eyes had rolled up inside her head, and her vital signs had become weak.
Incredibly, the prosecution alleges that the four adults continued to neglect to seek medical care at this late stage, ultimately resulting in her death.
The defendants admitted that they had jointly inflicted injuries on the girl, but denied that it was intentional homicide. The prosecution is charging the defendants with intentional homicide based on the extent of the abuse, seriousness of the injuries, large areas of old and new scars, and brain hemorrhaging.
Prosecutors have indicted the three adult defendants on charges of inflicting intentional injury to the baby, physical and mental abuse, and homicide. Prosecutors are requesting that the court impose a sentence of life imprisonment on the three defendants because of the heinous nature of the crimes.
The three adults accused of abusing the baby include Hsueh's 26-year-old cousin also surnamed Hsueh, her cousin's 28-year-old husband surnamed Ho (何), and her 28-year-old partner surnamed Lee (李). Due to the public uproar over the case, the juvenile court has decided to take the 17-year-old Hsueh into custody.
When the latest announcement was made, many angered members of the public gathered inside the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office and refused to leave. Many threatened to "teach the people involved," prompting police to surreptitiously lead the defendants away from the scene for their safety.