Woman Allegedly Blamed Girl, 15, for Being Sexually Abused, Then Tortured Her and Lit Her on Fire: Police

Latonya Harris and her boyfriend are facing several charges including attempted murder

<p>Terrebonne Parish Sheriff

Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office

Terrence Washington (left) and Latonya Harris

Content warning: This article contains disturbing allegations of child sex abuse.

A Louisiana woman was arrested alongside her boyfriend for allegedly brutally torturing a teenage girl in her care after learning the boyfriend was sexually abusing the child.

Latonya Harris, 40, and her boyfriend, 41-year-old Terrence Washington, are in custody in connection with the alleged April incident and its aftermath, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office announced this week, per FOX 26, WVUE and WDSU.

Authorities in Baytown, Texas, notified Terrebonne officials on April 21 regarding a crash in their jurisdiction involving the couple, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff said in a statement, per FOX 21 and WDSU.

Baytown police found the couple, the 15-year-old alleged victim and another minor in the car, the sheriff said, adding that the teenager was found with brutal injuries including burns to her upper body and gunshot wounds to her chest and face, per the outlets.

A Baytown investigator said the case was the “worst she has seen in her entire career,” per WVUE.

Washington was taken into custody while Harris and the child were taken to a local hospital for treatment, per the sheriff.

Washington allegedly told Baytown police that he shot the teenager in their Thibodaux, La., home and had been sexually abusing her for months, the sheriff said, per FOX 26, WVUE and WDSU.

The younger child, who WVUE reports is 10 years old, reportedly told authorities that one night in February, she woke up to find the teenager on fire and the woman allegedly standing over the alleged victim's bed with rubbing alcohol and a lighter, per the outlets.

The sheriff alleged that Washington told authorities that Harris allegedly carried out the assaults after learning that her boyfriend had been sexually abusing the teenager, for which she blamed the minor, according to the outlets.

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Harris was arrested on May 9 after being released from the hospital and faces several charges including attempted first-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, and domestic abuse battery child endangerment, the sheriff said, per FOX 26 and WVUE.

Charges against Washington include attempted first-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, obstruction of justice, molestation of a juvenile, three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and five counts of second-degree rape, per authorities, WDSU reported.

Washington is currently detained in Texas in connection with his alleged crimes in Texas, per WVUE and FOX 26, but he will be taken into custody in Terrebonne Parish authorities once he is released.

It wasn't immediately clear if Washington or Harris have entered pleas or retained attorneys.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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