Crime Tape
A representational image of a crime scene. Getty Images/ Christopher Furlong

In a horrifying case of child abuse, a man subjected his stepdaughter to extreme torture and also made her live in unsanitary conditions for years. Rimmon H. Lewis, 33, from Gwinnett County, Georgia, was accused of beating the 13-year-old girl, forcing her to eat cat food and giving her baths in peroxide. He allegedly used to lock her up in laundry room, forced her to urinate in her clothes, and pressurized her to complete cruel tasks as punishment.

Authorities in Gwinnett County indicted Lewis on 20 charges, including 15 counts of first-degree cruelty to children, four counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated stalking late November. The teenager’s mother, Angela Strothers, 33, was also indicted on four counts of cruelty to children and one count of aggravated stalking.

Lewis allegedly forced the teenager to stand barefoot on top of tin cans and write sentences at least 1,000 times. The girl was often made to attend school in a urine-soaked uniform. Counselors at the victim's school noticed bruises on the victim’s body and they called police in March, ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported. During investigations, it came to light that she was subjected to violent conditions for years. Lewis and Strothers were arrested in April and released on bond. Prosecutors added additional charges in late November after investigating further.

According to a report in the AJC, the girl was often locked in a laundry room in the family’s Gwinnett County home and would not be allowed to use the washroom, forcing her to defecate on herself. She was also forced to take baths in either extremely hot or cold water, and at times in peroxide. She was also made to gulp down detergent.

Lewis used to beat the girl with the belt and the leg of a table, punch her on the head, in the stomach and also kicked her in the vaginal area. All these brutal acts left scars and bruises all over the victim’s body, the report added.

The prosecutor of the case, Assistant District Attorney Tracy Cason, said “It’s amazing to me how this child survived as long as she did.”

However, according to the prosecutor, Strothers, the victim’s mother, didn't harm the girl directly though she knew the girl was tortured. She was also accused of reporting to Lewis whenever the girl wouldn't follow his instructions.

The victim and her siblings are now in the custody of the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services (DFCS). Lewis is incarcerated and Strothers is still out on bond.

Cason said, “There were times she was only allowed to eat cat food, and there were times she wasn’t allowed to eat at all until the defendant decided she could eat.”“It’s our understanding they moved from Cobb County to Gwinnett County to avoid DFCS’s attention,” Cason added.

According to reports, this was not the first time Lewis was accused of abuse. In 2014, he was arrested for abusing the same teenager, who was 10 years old at that time. At that time he pleaded guilty and was put on probation.