Mother Encourages Child to Whip Younger Sibling Repeatedly with Belt

A Florida woman, aged 28, has been arrested and charged with felony child abuse, following allegations of physical and psychological harm inflicted on her young child. The woman, identified as Karyn S. Parrish, is also accused of instructing one of the child’s siblings to repeatedly strike the child with a belt. The child, whose gender and exact age have not been disclosed, is known to be under five years old.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, along with investigators from the Department of Child and Family Services, responded to a welfare check request at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The call led them to a residence in the Preserve at Sabal Park Apartments in Seffner, Florida, approximately 10 miles east of Tampa. The identity of the individual who made the initial 911 call remains unknown.

Upon arrival, deputies found the young victim in a state of distress, exhibiting signs such as shaking and crying. The child had a fresh haircut and a nearly two-inch bruise on their cheek. When questioned about the cause of the injury, the child implicated Parrish. The child’s statement suggested that Parrish had a habit of telling the child that they didn’t remember certain events.

Parrish later confessed to slapping the child at least three times with her right hand, according to investigators. A search of Parrish’s cellphone revealed several disturbing videos that showcased her disregard for the child’s physical and emotional health.

Investigators found videos on Parrish’s phone where she can be heard encouraging one of her children to hit their sibling with a belt. In one of the recordings, Parrish is heard laughing and urging the child to hit harder. Another video allegedly shows Parrish cutting the victim’s hair while verbally tormenting the child, stating that they would be ‘tortured’ for eight hours.

The number of children living in Parrish’s home is unclear, but authorities have confirmed that the children have been removed and placed under the care of a relative. Parrish was taken to Orient Road Jail without any incident. As of Friday afternoon, she was still detained at the Falkenburg Road Jail with a bond set at $7,500.

Hillsborough County Circuit Court Judge Catherine M. Catlin has ordered that Parrish is to have no contact with the victim or any other minor, including her own children, if she is released. Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed his distress over the case, stating that it was heartbreaking and inconceivable for a mother to inflict such horrifying treatment on her own children.