A Laurel County mother and her boyfriend were arrested Wednesday after reports that three children had been hit with a belt and forced to sleep in a closet and a bathroom, according to court records.
Jennifer Leann Venable, 26, of London is charged with three counts each of assault, criminal child abuse and unlawful imprisonment, according to court records. Celestino Ceron, 34, also listed in records as Cozar Celestino, faces the same charges and several traffic violations, according to his police records.
An investigation began after Venable’s an 8-year-old child went to church with bruises on her arm, according to court records. When people at the church noticed the bruises, the children told them that they were being abused. The children were taken into protective custody during the investigation.
The children told police investigators that Ceron would sometimes tie them up with belts and leave them on the floor of their house, according to court records. He and Venable are both accused of hitting the children with belts, according to court records.
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The children told investigators that they were forced to sleep in a closet and bathroom, sometimes being let out only to be fed or when an adult needed to use the bathroom, according to court records. The three also told police that they weren’t allowed to cry, and that if they did, Venable and Ceron would laugh at them, according to records.
Venable and Ceron are being held in the Laurel County jail.