​Mom Accused of Locking Disabled 6-Year-Old in Cage Has Disturbing Excuse

Crystal HostetterAnd now in news that will make you throw up in your mouth a little bit -- a lesbian mom has been arrested on felony charges of cruelty to children, and her girlfriend was charged with cruelty to children (party to the crime) and reckless conduct and cruelty to children.

Crystal Jean Hostetter, 24, has been accused of putting her disabled 6-year-old son in dog cage and pouring syrup and cat litter on his hands and feet, even though she's aware the boy has psychological issues that cause him extreme distress when he's sticky. According to the arrest warrant, her girlfriend, 30-year-old Sarah Elizabeth McClain, forced the boy to hold a brick over his head for 15 minutes.


The incident occurred on Saturday night at the couple's Atlanta-area home, and witnesses say they could hear the boy crying, "Please don't kill me!" and "Do you love me at all?" Ugh, stab me in the heart already! How could someone do that to another person, let alone a child, let alone their own child?

The moms claim they were disciplining the boy. The "punishment" is reported to have lasted for two hours, while the brick incident happened sometime in the recent past.

Douglasville Police Sgt. Todd Garner said, “This extreme form of discipline was conducted on Saturday evening where witnesses saw this taking place and notified the school on Monday that they thought this was extreme and actually heard the child screaming … as they were pouring syrup on him and put him in the dog cage." He reported that the cage wasn't much larger than a large litter box, and the home was covered in fleas from their three cats.

Hostetter and McClain apparently didn't have a problem copping to crime when a DFCS employee questioned them at their home Monday night. They were removed from the residence, and the child was left in the care of an adult male who was in the home.

Hostetter was questioned in more detail on Tuesday. Garner said, "[DFCS] interviewed her again. She gave the same information. She explained to them that this total discipline was outside and was approximately two hours. Then I spoke to her in a voluntary interview.”

She is aware of her son's mental illness, and the boy was even hospitalized earlier this year. He's supposed to be on three different medications, but she won't fill the prescriptions or give them to him. When asked if she thought she knew more than the doctors, she said yes. Unsurprisingly, she's also not taking the poor kid to therapy.

They prefer their own brand of discipline, it seems, and have even gone so far as to take his bed out of his room and make him sleep on the floor. She reportedly told him, "If you don’t like your bed, you cannot have it," and put it in the garage after one night of him choosing to sleep on the floor.

After interviewing the child, Garner said, "He told me he doesn’t like peanut butter ... he doesn’t like jelly. He doesn’t like anything that’s sticky. It just bothers him and the mother knows this. She said that’s why they coated his hands and feet with syrup and put cat litter on him because as she said, 'I knew it would bother him.'"

Judge Barbara Caldwell decided these two horrific examples of human beings deserved their own cages, and denied them bond. They will stay at the Douglas County Jail, as they have been deemed, "likely to flee and pose a danger to the victim."

Caldwell said, "I cannot even imagine doing that to a child that has issues already and heaven only knows what has happened that no one else knows about."

The family recently moved to the area from Pennsylvania, and police are investigating if there have been any prior incidents. Investigators are suspicious of the sudden move, and wonder what else may have been going on.

And just in case your heart isn't breaking enough ... it's reported that "the boy asked police to help his mother and continually asked if she was OK."

On a scale from one to eleven, how sick does this story make you?


Image via Douglasville Police Department

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