A Washington State couple who abused a young boy, in part, by forcing him to live on a bizarre hot dog smoothie have been handed lengthy prison sentences.
Prosecutors argued in court that Christopher Sefton and Lori Lloyd forced Sefton's 6-year-old son to live on a blended cocktail of hot dogs and cooking oil while physically abusing him and forcing him to work out and restricting his sleep, according to KOMO.
The boy, identified only as K., was reportedly emaciated and feeding himself out of school trash cans when officials finally came to his aid.
"They were using food to torture him," Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson told Seattlepi.com. “It has the added benefit of trying to kill him, but it was a very effective form of torture."
In addition to starvation, prosecutors said the boy was forced to do pushups while wearing a backpack filled wiht canned food and was barred from sleeping, in addition to
Gregson claimed that dozens of calls to child protective services failed to get the boy help.
Help finally came after months of suspicion at the boy's school culminated with K. arriving badly bruised and shaking uncontrollably.
The boy was taken to the emergency room at Seattle Children's, where his stomach was found distended from malnutrition.
Sefton, 30, and Lloyd, 31, were charged with first-degree assault of a child, second-degree assault of a child and first-degree criminal mistreatment.
The jury returned its guilty verdict on March 15.
By the end of the two-month jury trial, the judge believed the abuse was so extreme that he handed down 20-year sentences, which are outside the usual arrange for child abuse.
"Judge Cayce held that to give the standard range would be to ignore the jury’s imposition of multiple aggravating factors and would not result in a fair or just sentence,” Gregson said following Thursday’s hearing. “He found that 20 years was warranted in this case because it was exceptional in every way."