COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A Post Falls couple face child abuse charges after being accused of tying up, starving and beating their 6-year-old child to near-death.
Melvin W. Bledsoe III, 27, and Joy T. Anderson, 30, were arrested last week after Bledsoe's son underwent surgery at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Court documents reveal the child had a split pancreas, which according to doctors takes a lot of force to the abdomen to happen. Police detail that Bledsoe and Anderson waited multiple days before getting the child treatment for his bloated stomach and severe pain.
Police reports note the child had injuries to the right hip/buttocks/thigh area that were scabbed over. There were also injuries to the child's back, according to Post Falls Police. Detectives say the child also had dried blood around his penis. The report goes on to add that there were scarred injuries on the child's arms and his eye. The detective also reported seeing an ulcer looking wound near the child's leg/knee.
Bledsoe told police the injuries happened when his son "was playing in a canal, fell and hit his stomach on a rock." Anderson stated that the child "may have been riding his bicycle and crashed into a pole."
A former neighbor told police the child's dad and stepmom would tie the child up to his bed with cords or ropes, and lock him in his room.
According to child abuse and neglect victim advocate KJ Torgerson, Idaho has a very high rate of child abuse.
The victim is recovering well, according to Torgerson, but could be dealing with the physical and mental effects for years to come.
She says it's important for people to report cases of child abuse to the authorities so specialists can intervene.
Bledsoe has a long criminal history, including convictions for Assault and Injury to a Child. Bledsoe's bond has been set at $200,000. He has been charged with Cruelty to Children.
Anderson is charged with Injury to a Child. She is being held on a $50,000 bond.
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