Woman used water torture and strangled boy 50-70 times, court documents report
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic description of alleged child abuse. Reader discretion is advised.
IDAHO FALLS — Police say an Idaho Falls woman tortured a 5-year-old boy by bounding his feet and hands while holding him under water until he passed out.
Lashauna Eskeets, 28, is charged with six counts of felony injury to child and one felony count of aggravated battery. According to an affidavit of probable cause, police were alerted of the abuse after the boy was admitted to Idaho Falls Community Hospital on May 26 with severe injuries.
Eskeets said the boy had fallen and hurt himself but investigators say his injuries were not consistent with her report. According to court documents, the boy suffered swelling around his head and eyes, old fractures of the ribs and a fractured right arm that had not been set properly. The boy only weighed 35 pounds and was considered malnourished. Police also noticed several bruises and abriasions on his ankles.
When asked about being abused, the boy reportedly acted hesitant to explain what happened. He ultimately explained that he was “spanked” by Eskeets, which were actually slaps to the head after he ate cake when he wasn’t supposed to.
The boy described multiple incidents to detectives of Eskeets trying to place him under water in a sink for extended periods of time. The boy said when he struggled to avoid going under the water, Eskeets would tie up his hands and feet. She would then hold him under water until he passed out, according to court documents.
When investigators spoke with Eskeets, she admitted the abuse escalated over time as she became frustrated with the child. Eskeets said that she would strangle the boy until he became limp and reportedly thought this to be the worst thing she did until she discovered the water torture.
She described that when the boy would not do what she wanted, she would try to put him under water. When he would struggle, she grabbed strips of cloth to bound his arms and legs to keep him from kicking
She also described incidents where she kicked and hit the boy and she searched the internet for remedies to hide bruises.
“I asked what she was thinking during these incidents of abuse and Lashauna was thinking how much she hated him,” a detective wrote in his report. “Lashauna’s intent was for him to listen to her.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, after speaking with Eskeets they estimated the boy was strangled between 50 and 70 times and endured the water torture around 30 times. The alleged abuse began out of state but continued in Idaho from January 2019 and into May 2020.
Arrangements were made for the boy and another child living in the home to be taken to Primary Children’s hospital in Salt Lake City to receive treatment and care following the alleged abuse. The children were also placed into foster care.
During the incidents of the alleged abuse, Eskeets would care for the boy alone while his father was out of town for extended times on business. When the father noticed the injuries, he took the boy to the hospital.
Police arrested Eskeets on Friday. She is being held in the Bonneville County Jail on $500,000 bail. If convicted, she could spend up to 75 years in prison.
A preliminary hearing for Eskeets is scheduled for June 12.
Help for children being abused
To report suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment, call 1-855-552-KIDS (5437).
Additional resources can he found here.