Abused 4-Year-Old Thought Her Name Was 'Idiot,' Police Say

Clarence Reed; Jennifer Denen
Hot Springs, Ark., Police Department

An Arkansas mother and her live-in boyfriend are facing charges of abuse after a 4-year-old girl was found with multiple bruises and scars, the Washington Post reports.

According to a police report, when officers asked the girl what her name was, she told them, "Idiot."


The mother's live-in boyfriend reportedly regularly called the child "Idiot" instead of using her name. He also allegedly zip-tied the girl to her bed as punishment, the police report indicates.

The girl was found with deep purple bruises, a black eye, a swollen cheek and a mark on her forehead, as well as healing scars across her back and ligature marks on her wrist, authorities said, according to the Post.

Clarence Reed, 47, and the mother of the child, 30-year-old Jennifer Denen, have been charged with domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor in the case.

Police got a call Friday from the Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center, where a staff member reported that there was a malnourished 4-year-old who had been abused at home.


Reed and Denen were at the center when officers got there and were arrested.

According to the report, Denen admitted to police that she had seen Reed hit the child with a plastic bat and frequently call her "Idiot." She also admitted that she didn't seek medical care for the child, the report said.


Reed also acknowledged striking the child, according to the report, but rather than a plastic bat, he said, he had used a half-inch-thick wooden paddle. He also admitted to zip-tying the girl as punishment for climbing the kitchen cabinets.

He said that he called the child "Idiot" as a joke, police said.

According to the report, six children lived in the home with the two adults. One, an 11-month-old, is Denen's only child with Reed.


The 4-year-old and the 11-month-old are now in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, according to police, while the four older children are with their biological father.

Read more at the Washington Post

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