A Jefferson County woman was ordered to serve a lengthy prison term after she pleaded guilty earlier this week to the serious abuse of her 7 year-old son in 2014.
Judge Duane Slone accepted the guilty plea from Suzan Marie Sealock, 56, Cherry Brook Drive, Dandridge, to six counts aggravated child abuse (child under 8 years old) and three counts especially aggravated kidnapping. She was ordered to serve a 15 year prison term at 100 percent, with the provision she may earn up to a 15 percent reduction in the sentence for good behavior. She also may have no contact with the victim.
Mrs. Sealock and her 63 year-old husband, Charles Sealock, were originally indicted on six counts aggravated child abuse, six counts aggravated child neglect and three counts especially aggravated kidnapping.
The suspects allegedly had fed their seven year-old son, baby food while he was held in a three by four foot closet for five days.
The boy was able to escape, and GW “Bud” McCoig who was Jefferson County Sheriff at the time of the incident, said the boy walked to the home of a neighbor asking to trade a pine cone for food. The neighbor contacted authorities because the boy had scratches on his body and his fingernails and toenails were bruised.
Jefferson County Detective Sgt. Pam Taylor at the time of the arrest, said the boy was dirty and had lacerations, bruises and scars on his face, forehead and body. He had allegedly been locked in a 3 X 4 foot, “toilet room” for days, with a dresser pushed up against the door exterior.
Detective Taylor said the child with multiple injuries was treated at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for the injuries that were” especially heinous atrocious and cruel”. She said the hematoma on the child are believed to have been caused by “torture”, and resulted in serious body injuries.
As a result of the investigation, children aged three, six, seven, nine and 14 were removed from the home. The sheriff said an examination of the children at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville indicated they had been in an abusive environment for some time.
McCoig at the time of the arrests said the Sealock couple declined to talk about the reasons the boy was being punished.
Charges against Mr. Sealock are still pending.
Edward Lee Self, 47, Cresent Street, Morristown, pleaded guilty to sexual battery. He was originally charged with rape of a child, rape and aggravated sexual battery. The offenses allegedly occurred over the period of 2002 to 2009, and involved the penetration of the victim who was under the age of 15.
Judge Slone imposed a six year sentence but ordered Self to be released on the two years he has already served. The balance will be on probation. The defendant must register as a sex offender and may have no contact with the victim.