An Indian couple has been arrested here and charged with subjecting their 12-year-old daughter to "unspeakable physical abuse" for months by starving her and beating her with a metal handle and baseball bat, leaving her severely bruised and hospitalised for surgery.
Rajesh Ranot, 46, and his wife Sheetal Ranot, 31, of Queens were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and together charged in a criminal complaint with first, second and third degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Sheetal, who is the child's stepmother, is presently being held in jail against USD 60,000 in bail and faces a total of 33 years in prison if convicted.
Rajesh is the child's biological father and faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He too remains in jail against USD 25,000 bail.
Their next court date is on August 13.
Sheetal repeatedly hit her stepdaughter Maya Ranot on her body and face, causing bruising and pain and locked her inside her bedroom, refusing to feed her for extended periods of time between December 2012 and May 2014, according to the charges. In one instance in May 2013, Sheetal allegedly hit Maya with a broken metal broom handle on her body, causing a deep laceration and bleeding on her left wrist and right knee.
Medical personnel found Maya "lying in a pool of blood" in the kitchen with her wrist cut down to the bone. Maya underwent emergency surgery for her wrist and received stitches to her knee. The doctors treating Maya observed several bruises, marks and scars in various stages of healing throughout her body including bruises on her right ear and legs. In another instance, Sheetal allegedly hit Maya in the face with a wooden rolling pin in April this year causing a laceration, swelling and pain to her cheek.
Doctors found her to be underweight and thin, weighing 58 pounds, and wearing dirty clothes. "The criminal charges allege that this young victim was subjected to years of unspeakable physical abuse at the hands of her father and stepmother," Brown said. The complaint additionally alleged that Rajesh repeatedly beat Maya with his hands, feet, belt and baseball bat between December 2012 and May 2014, causing bruising, swelling and pain in her ears, head and legs.
The New York City Administration for Children's Services filed an abuse petition against the father and step-mother in family court following the investigation. Commissioner Gladys Carrion said the investigation saved the life of the young girl and ensured that she and her siblings are now safe from further abuse. "This horrific case highlights the necessity of, and reinforces our commitment to, collaborating with our partner city agencies... to ensure that New York City children remain safe," Carrion said.