The stepfather of a 4-year-old Lynnwood girl, who is suspected of hog-tying her and shooting her dozens of times with an Airsoft BB rifle, was charged with second-degree child assault in Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday.
The 26-year-old man continues to be held at Snohomish County Jail on $25,000 bail. A judge ordered that he have no unsupervised contact with his children, according to the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
A grandmother first thought she noticed chicken pox on the skin of the 4-year-old girl while bathing her on Jan. 12, according to charging papers. The girl informed her that the marks and welts were from having her wrists and “feet wrists” tied while being shot repeatedly by the stepfather, and that she did not want to return home, the papers say.
The various stages of healing in her wounds indicated that she had been tied up and shot at on more than one occasion, according to a medical analysis cited in the court papers.
When a deputy interviewed the stepfather about the marks, he said his son had fired at the girl with an Airsoft rifle he’d been given for Christmas and that it had since been taken away, according to a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office report. The stepfather said he’d bound the girl’s wrists and ankles with duct tape for 30 minutes as punishment, according to the report.
He also said in an early written statement to police that hog-tying is part of a video game he plays — one with a promotional website that asks visitors to verify their age before entering. The statement is included in court papers.
“I play Red Dead Redemption, and one of the key features to getting max payment for collecting bounties is hog-tying the person which is spoken in game and [the child] has heard it said,”he wrote according to court papers.
When asked by a child-interview specialist why her mother doesn’t intervene, the sheriff’s report says, the girl “said her mom doesn’t care about her getting shot and tied up and said her mom leaves because she doesn’t want to hear her cry.”
Detectives who on Jan. 24 searched the Lynnwood home where the man, his wife and four children live, found zip ties in the garbage that had been chewed at, according to charging papers. Feces were also smeared on the girl’s bedroom door, something the charging papers said could be an indication of how long she and her siblings were sometimes locked away in their rooms.
The girl also endured other odd punishments at the home, according to a sheriff’s report. Sometimes she and a sister were told to lean against a wall with squatted legs for 30 minutes until their feet and legs hurt “really bad.” One time when her room was messy, she said she was forced to pick up her room with her teeth, according to the report.