Courts: Man charged after brutally beating teen with a belt, mother says ‘it’s normal where we are from’

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Davis County Jail

SYRACUSE, Utah (ABC4 news) – A 40-year-old Syracuse man has been charged with child abuse after a neighbor noticed welts on the teen who had asked for a ride to a friend’s house.

Charging documents state on June 11, police were called to the hospital in Layton after a woman had brought her 15-year-old neighbor there.

The woman told police the boy had come to her home looking for a ride to a friend’s house. She observed the boy’s injuries and asked if he was alright.

He told the woman he has been abused by his father, documents state.

During an interview with the boy, he said he lives in Syracuse with his mother and father James Earl Rainey and his 12-year-old brother. The officer noted obvious injuries on the boy’s body, according to documents.

The boy said he had snuck out of the home a few nights before to get away and look at the stars. He texted his brother about sneaking out.

Documents state on the night the child was taken to the hospital, the mother saw the texts on his phone and became upset and sent him to his room. A few moments later his father called the two boys up to the parents’ bedroom.

The boy said his father repeatedly beat him with a belt, leaving welts all over his body. His father then threw him around the room and into the corner of the bed, and punched him in the face. The boy had belt marks on his arms and legs and on his chest and his vertebrae on his back was bruised, according to documents.

The 12-year-old also had multiple welts on his inner thighs and on his arm, documents state.

The boy said after the first beating his dad stormed off and his mother who had been sitting on the bed the whole time told him to get off the floor and “get the hell” out of her room, documents state.

Documents further state that soon after, Rainey called his sons back to the bedroom and repeated the beating a second time in front of their mother. The boy told officers he does not feel safe at home and the beatings are regular.

When asked about the last time he had been beaten, the boy stated it was a month before because he “cooked something he wasn’t supposed to,” according to documents.

The 12-year-old told police he does not like seeing his brother “in agony,” but that where they come from in Alabama it is normal, documents state.

The mother complained to the police that it is wrong to put her husband in jail for something that is normal in their family, according to documents.

Rainey has been booked into the Davis County Jail without bail on two counts of second-degree child abuse – inflicting serious bodily injury.

At this time, the mother has not been charged with any crime.

Child Abuse: If you suspect child abuse or neglect contact the DCFS 24/7 hotline: 855-323-3237. For more information, visit dcfs.utah.gov.

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