Couple Sentenced in Child Abuse Case - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Couple Sentenced in Child Abuse Case

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A Tulsa couple accused of abusing their 6-year-old son were sentenced to prison today.

Jessie Denton Roach, 49, and his wife, Delores Roach, 28, were arrested in April 2012. 

Jessie Roach was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences and Delores Roach was sentenced to three consecutive 20 year sentences.

According to an affidavit, Delores Roach, who is the boy's mother, and Jessie Roach, who is the boy's stepfather, "failed to provide proper nourishment and food" to the boy, whose weight at six years of age was just 34 pounds, well below average.

"This child suffered tremendously. He was literally tortured. Starved, beaten, tortured for years," said prosecutor Sarah McAmis. She said in her closing arguments that the couple forced the boy sit in the hallway and only eat peanut butter on bread. The couple's two biological children were reportedly allowed to eat normal meals at the table.

They are also accused of failing to seek proper medical treatment for lesions on the child's scalp and forehead that had gotten so bad they could result in the boy needing skin grafts to repair the damage.

Jessie Roach is also accused of causing injuries to the boy's eyes by hitting him while the boy was eating and causing bruises to the back of his thigh by spanking him with a belt.

Jessie Roach's attorney said the man admitted to needing help and plead guilty to the charges. Dolores Roach's attorney said she did not get the boy the medical attention he needed, because she was not aware of the fractures. 

Judge James Caputo told Jessie Roach that the boy will suffer from the abuse the rest of his life and that Jessie will have the rest of his life to think about it.

One current and one former foster mother of the now second grader testified that he still deals with aggression and some food issues.


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