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Florida couple arrested for allegedly ‘maliciously’ torturing their niece for 10 years

In a distressing and deeply unsettling incident, a woman named Latricia Crawley, aged 46, and her husband Benjamin Lockett, aged 43, have been taken into custody for the abuse and torture of their teenage niece over a painful period of ten years. The details that have emerged from this case are truly horrifying, shedding light on a chapter of abuse and suffering that has had a lasting impact on the victim’s life.

The Arrest and Charges On October 25, 2023, the Margate Police Department apprehended Latricia Crawley on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect causing severe harm. At the same time, Benjamin Lockett was arrested for child abuse causing less severe harm. Their arrest came after a distressing incident where the victim reached out to her online teacher for help.

A Cry for Help The victim’s cry for assistance unfolded when, in a state of utter desperation, she contacted her online teacher, begging them to call the police and direct them to her residence on Northwest 79th Terrace. The Margate Police responded quickly to her desperate plea, and what they discovered was both heart-wrenching and enraging. The victim recounted an incident in which Lockett, in a fit of rage, accused her of eating some candy. His reaction to this perceived offense was to physically harm her. He allegedly punched her, causing her to collide with a desk, resulting in a significant cut on her forehead and other injuries, including swelling.

Unearthing a Gruesome Past Upon admitting her to Broward Health Coral Springs, medical staff and law enforcement officers were confronted with shocking evidence of extensive and long-lasting trauma to her body. The victim exhibited physical scars from her torment, marked by ligature imprints, scar tissue, insect bite marks, severe bruising, and the unmistakable signs of malnutrition.

A Decade of Unimaginable Torture During their investigation, a detective had the opportunity to speak with the victim, who revealed the horrifying truth. She had been under the custody of Lockett and Crawley since 2014. Over the course of this ten-year ordeal, the couple had allegedly subjected her to unrelenting and malicious acts of torture. Shockingly, they had even confined her in two separate closets and purposely inflicted abuse that resulted in permanent disfigurement.

Childhood Scarred by Brutality At the vulnerable age of 11, Lockett purportedly kicked her in the chin, leaving a permanent scar as a cruel reminder of his brutality. When she turned 13, Crawley subjected her to unspeakable torment by forcing her to kneel on rice for extended periods. Her knees bear the permanent deformity caused by this abuse. In 2021, Crawley allegedly struck the girl’s toes with a hammer. At the age of 14, in 2022, Crawley and Lockett resorted to tying her to various objects using nylon ropes. The horrors escalated when Crawley poured scalding water on her. Chamber of Horrors According to the official statement, the victim was locked in a closet, restrained with zip ties, and provided with just a bucket for her basic needs. At times, Crawley allegedly poured cold water on her, a sickening act seemingly intended to inflict additional suffering. Even more horrifying, Crawley taped the victim’s eyes shut and subjected her to waterboarding, pushing the limits of cruelty to unimaginable extremes.

Starvation as a Form of Punishment It is with a sense of dread that we discover the clear signs of starvation and malnutrition present in the victim. In a twisted form of punishment, Crawley intentionally deprived her of food. The victim’s confirmation of this chilling detail serves as a grim testament to the mental and physical agony she endured.

A Glimmer of Hope Amidst this gruesome tableau of torment, there is a faint glimmer of hope. Crawley, perhaps sensing the impending consequences, allegedly requested to relinquish custody of the victim. As a result of these horrifying revelations, the victim has been placed under the protective care of Child Protective Services.

A Troubling Outcome Both Lockett and Crawley have been released on bail from Broward County Jail, raising concerns about the potential dangers they pose to society. The public’s outcry and demand for justice in this case will undoubtedly resonate far and wide. In conclusion, the case of Latricia Crawley and Benjamin Lockett serves as a stark reminder of the darkness that can exist in the most unexpected corners of society. Their actions have caused unspeakable suffering to an innocent victim, leaving a lasting scar on her life. The path to justice may be arduous, but it is one that must be pursued with unwavering determination to ensure that the perpetrators face the full consequences of their abhorrent acts.


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