By Brad Segall
CHELTENHAM, Pa. (CBS) — A preliminary hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning for a man whom Montgomery County prosecutors say beat his foster child inside their Cheltenham home last week.
His wife is also charged in the case.
Prosecutors say 48-year-old Claybon Hawthorne used a belt to beat the 12-year-old boy. Then, when the buckle broke, police say, his wife grabbed a broom, handed it to him, and he continued the assault.
The child was taken to Abington Hospital the next day by a case worker who was visiting the child.
Montgomery County prosecutor Kevin Steele says the beating occurred after Renee Hawthorne accused the boy of using her credit card to buy an iPhone.
Steele expressed horror at the beating: “The injuries that this 12-year-old boy sustained, where there’s an open gaping cut down the side of his face that took 18 stitches to close…”
He says the Hawthornes did not report the incident and threatened the child, telling him not to say anything.
The investigation is ongoing, and Steele says they are looking into whether this child had been beaten before or whether any other foster kids may have been assaulted.