Couple accused of forcing 5-year-old to eat, brush teeth with cat feces; abusing 2 others
SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio-area couple punished their young children by forcing one to eat and brush her teeth with cat feces, shocking the same child with a dog’s training collar and beating them all with a thorny switch, according to arrest warrants provided by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
James Howard Chalkley, 32, was charged Monday with one count of injury to a child and his 22-year-old wife, Cheyanne, was charged with two counts of injury to a child. James Chalkley is the father of a three-year-old boy and two girls who are 5 and 10. Cheyanne Chalkley is their stepmother.
The arrest warrants show a teacher noticed bruising on the five-year-old in September. Child protective workers subsequently interviewed each of the girls, revealing the extent of the abuse, after which all of the children were removed from their home in Converse and placed in foster care.
The children told their foster mother about a time their father became angry because he believed the children had deliberately failed to clean up cat feces that he found in a closet. He smeared the animal waste on at least two of them, forced the five-year-old to eat it and brushed her teeth with feces on a brush with such force that she bled, according to the warrants released Monday.
The five-year-old also told authorities that her father used a dog’s shock collar on her that left green marks on her skin. Authorities say the children told them their father and stepmother struck them with a belt and switches from a lemon tree, some with thorns.
Investigators say James Chalkley at one point asked his wife if the punishments were too harsh, and she responded that she would hit them more if they were her children.
Online jail records don’t indicate if the Chalkleys have attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
Texas Child Protective Services had contact with the family on at least three occasions, according to the warrants. In one instance in 2016, the children had been left unsupervised. In January this year, the children had been stripped of their clothing, ordered outside and sprayed with cold water as a punishment for misbehavior. The case was closed and labelled as high-risk.