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Stepfather Accused of Serially Abusing Boy, Once Forcing Him to Hold Lit Bottle Rocket in Mouth

A Connecticut man is accused of engaging in a pattern of horrific child abuse against his stepson. The victim’s biological mother was also charged.

Cops with Naugatuck Police Department said they responded to a residence to help the state Department of Children & Families after an anonymous tipster said that one of the children was being abused: locked in a laundry room unless it was time for food or schooling.

The children was identified as Juvenile Male Victim #1 (JMV#1). In the affidavit, he told officials that Kevin Grant, 31, was the one to force him into the laundry room. The boy was also forced to kneel on sharp tacks. If he vomited from being made to eat hot peppers, he then had to eat it. According to officials, the boy also said that Grant would make him kneel on uncooked rice for an entire day, made him do push-ups until he was unable to move his arms, and forced to stand on a ladder with one foot in the air with tacks on the ladder steps and under the ladder.

In another incident, he reported that he was with his stepsiblings lighting bottle caps. Grant allegedly forced him to put a bottle rocket in his mouth, and lit it. It exploded, in this account. One of the DCF workers she witnessed a scar on his face, which was determined to be from the bottle rocket.

According to investigators, the boy said that Grant only did this to him, not his other siblings. He was allegedly blamed for an accident in which his brother was injured in a fall, and in the aftermath, Grant threw him across the room. The boy was made to stand in the corner for about a week.

What did the mother do in all this? Allegedly nothing at best, and that’s the problem. At worst, she allegedly facilitated the abuse. Kaitlin Elizabeth Baptiste, 29, “appeared to be unaware of the situation,” police said. She allegedly said she worked long hours, and wasn’t always home with the kids. But according to the child’s purported account, it was either Baptiste or Grant who would unlock the door to the laundry room so he could use the bathroom.

Grant allegedly told police neither he nor Baptiste would speak to them, on the advice of their attorney. That lawyer did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

Grant is charged with risk of injury to a child, assault in the second degree, intentional cruelty to persons, disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment in the second degree. Baptiste faces a count each of risk of injury to a child, conspiracy to commit intentional cruelty to persons, conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment in the second degree.

Grant and Baptiste are both scheduled for a hearing to take place November 10. The defendants have yet to enter a plea. Both have been released from custody, respectively on $25,000 and $10,000 bond.

[Screengrab via WFSB 3]

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