Court Documents: Dad and stepmom punished 4-year-old son by burning him in a hot shower

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-07 18:30:30-05

Suffolk, Va. - A four-year-old little boy confides in his babysitter, telling her that his parents forced him into a scalding hot shower as a punishment for misbehaving, according to court documents.

"He said that his parents punished him for saying it and told him to get in the hot shower. So I asked him, was it an accident? And he said, no he knew it was hot. They told me to get in it," Tosha Tucker, the child's babysitter, told NewsChannel 3 today.

Now, his dad and step-mother, Bernard and Vallerie Esannason, are behind bars. Both are sailors.

Tucker had been watching the boy and his sister for about a month. Last December, Vallerlie told Tucker that the boy was burned while his father was adjusting the temperature in the shower.

Tucker says she didn't believe it.

"It looked deliberate. It didn`t look like an accident at all," she said.

Court documents show the boy told police his "mommy and daddy held him down in the shower and sprayed hot water on him for four minutes because he's four-years-old."

Tucker says the burns were all over the boy's body, and the worst was his arm.

"It was so bad that it leaked through his shirt," she said.

That's when Tucker took the boy to the hospital, and court documents say doctors performed surgery to save the boy's arm.

"It angers me that any parent would do that to any child especially a mom or a dad would do it to their child. It`s hard to grasp," she said.

NewsChannel 3 went to the Esannoson's neighborhood, where neighbors told us they've called police on the family before.

"I would hear the screaming of a little boy. You definitely could hear him in just horrible pain. He`d scream horrible screams and he would stop, and maybe ten minutes later it would go on again this bloody scream like he`s being tortured, Kelly Altic, who lives next door, said.

The two are facing a number of charges, including cruelty and injuries to children.