MANNINGTON – Six children have been removed from their home after an investigation found their parents beat them with different instruments, including a belt and a piece of wire conduit.
Officers from the Mannington Police Department arrested Bashtlee Efaw, 38, and her husband, Richard Douglas Efaw, 45, on Oct. 20 after conducting a lengthy investigation.
Police Chief Brian Stewart said the abuse took place at the Efaws' home at 306 Buffalo St. in Mannington. After finding probable cause, Stewart said he took appropriate steps to obtain a warrant for the arrests of the couple.
“Multiple disclosures of abuse were made by the children in which they described being abused by Bashtlee Efaw and Richard Efaw over an extended period of time. The abuse consisted of the children being whipped with belts on the buttocks, arms and head causing scars,” Stewart said in a prepared statement.
The children range in age from 5 to 15.
“A piece of metal conduit with wiring inside was used for whipping a child. The children were struck in the mouths with the backs of the adults' hands which caused one child to bleed. The children were forced to do excessive amounts of pushups as punishment. The children were also forced to do squats as punishment,” according to Stewart.
The children told Stewart and Child Protective Services that the squats were described as a “set of 100.”
“At times, the children were forced to do as many as 500 squats. The children complained of pain in their knees as a result of this particular punishment. The children were punished by being made to stand with their noses touching a wall, with their hands behind their backs,” Stewart stated.
The children told officials they were forced to endure this type of punishment “for entire days at a time.”
“Sometimes this punishment was started when they arrived home from school around 3 p.m. and would last until they went to bed at 9 p.m. They disclosed that this punishment would often continue into the next day or days,” said Stewart.
At press time, both were being held in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of posting $50,012 bond each.
They each face one count of child abuse resulting in great injury.
Stewart said the children are now safe and the case is still under investigation.