2 children critically injured in south Alabama sexual torture case
BUTLER COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Two Butler County siblings are in critical condition and a man and woman are facing multiple charges in one of the worst child abuse cases the sheriff's office has ever handled.
On Monday night, deputies were called to a home in the Greenmore community in reference to a medical emergency. Greenmore Road is located off of East Dogwood Trail (Butler County Road 37) outside of Georgiana, near Chapman.
When they arrived, they found two children, a brother and sister, severely beaten, Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said.
They were rushed to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital in Greenville and then transported to Children's of Alabama hospital in Birmingham for treatment of their injuries.
An investigation was launched and Jonathan Smith, 33, was arrested. The next day, Michelle Smith, 30, was also arrested. The Smiths are related to the victims, the sheriff confirmed.
Jonathan and Michelle Smith were charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse (family), two counts of sexual torture and two counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.
The couple went before a judge Wednesday afternoon and were each placed on a $1 million bond. They remain in the Butler County Jail.
Harden couldn't release additional information due to the nature of the case and the ongoing investigation, but more charges are expected to be filed against the Smiths.
The sheriff indicated the abuse occurred at the couple's home this past weekend, but there was a delay in notifying first responders.
"It happened actually Sunday night and they did not call for medical assistance until Monday night. So it was the next day before they even called for an ambulance to come to them," Sheriff Harden said.
He couldn't discuss the extent of the victims' injuries or how they were inflicted. He also couldn't reveal their exact ages, confirming only that the siblings are younger than 12.
"It's one of the worst cases I've ever seen," Harden added. "A child or elderly people can't defend themselves and any time you abuse a child or an elderly person, that hurts everybody. We're very concerned and taking it very seriously. They're going to be prosecuted to the max. We're going to do everything we can to make sure that these two never hurt another child or a person."
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