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Cape man charged with child abuse

By Staff | May 10, 2011

A Cape Coral man is accused of spanking a 5-year-old girl with a metal coat hanger and a belt, leaving bruises and lacerations on her buttocks.
Rickey Anthony Washington, 23, of 641 S.E. 13th Place, Apt. 2, was arrested and charged Friday with cruelty toward child torture punish cage a child, along with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, drive while license suspended and resist officer obstruct without violence.
He remained in custody Tuesday at the Lee County Jail. He was denied bond on two prior charges of possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams and possess and or use narcotic equipment that stem from a Wednesday arrest.
On April 20, a Lehigh Acres woman filed a child abuse report with the Cape police. The woman told officers that her daughter was at Washington’s home from April 15-20. When the girl returned home, she stated that Washington had beaten her with a metal coat hanger and a belt the previous evening.
The woman inspected her daughter’s back side and discovered the injuries.
According to police, in an interview with investigators, the child said she had been sleeping in her bed when she woke up to find that no one was home. She became scared and used Washington’s girlfriend’s cell phone to call for help.
A woman reportedly answered the phone and told the child that someone would be right over. The girl went back to sleep, then was awakened a while later by Washington. He was allegedly angry and asked if she called anyone.
The girl told investigators that she was scared and answered no.
Washington struck her across the face with an open hand several times, according to police. He then retrieved the mental coat hanger from a closet and spanked the child. She said Washington also used the belt to spank her.
The girl described the beating as so painful that she had difficulty breathing as it happened. He allegedly asked “who’s the boss” as he was spanking her.
Attempts by Cape police and the Department of Children and Families to contact Washington were unsuccessful. Surveillance was set up at his home.
On Friday, officers observed Washington leave his home. When Washington saw the police he reportedly attempted to flee but was quickly apprehended. During an interview, Washington allegedly admitted to spanking the girl with his belt for lying, but he denied using a coat hanger on her.
He stated that he felt bad that he left marks on the child, but he maintained that he only struck her five times, according to police.
He was charged and transported to the county jail.
Washington has court dates scheduled for May 24 and June 6.