Two teenagers have been charged with torturing and abusing two young children while babysitting them at a St. Paul home.
Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette and Jamie Rae Wilson, both 19 from St. Paul, have been charged with two counts each of child torture.
Court documents state the ages of the victims are two and five years old, with a doctor at Midwest Children's Resource Center telling an investigator that this is "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."
According to the criminal complaint, paramedics were called to a home on the 400 block of Hershel Street on Sept. 21 because a two-year-old boy had allegedly fallen down a flight of stairs.
Wilson went with the child in the ambulance to a hospital, with the child losing consciousness en route. Medics inside the ambulance noted Wilson's "odd behavior," specifically when she refused to have the child's clothes removed to further evaluate him.
The evaluation found bruises "all over the boy's body along with abnormal markings consistent with cigarette burns." He was also diagnosed with a fractured occipital bone in his skull and brain bleeds — one new and one old.
Suspects tell conflicting stories
Officers interviewed Wilson while she was trying to leave the hospital. Wilson claimed that her cousin dropped the child off with her Sept. 20, stating the boy's mother went to Florida to clear up an outstanding warrant.
According to the complaint, Wilson alleged that the boy already had marks on him when he was dropped off. Police noted how Wilson cared more about getting home than the boy's condition.
She later told police that she and Calzada-Russette were at the house when Wilson's three-year-old daughter told them the boy fell down the stairs.
Wilson later changed her story to police, claiming that Calzada-Russette caused the boy's injuries, alleging that he used a belt on the boy "multiple times." She also said some of her cigarettes and lighters have gone missing, claiming that Calzada-Russette was to blame for the cigarette burns.
On Sept. 22, police said a "melee" broke out at police headquarters after some of Wilson's relatives were attempting to get custody of her daughter. The relatives claimed they were trying to gain custody for over a year, according to the complaint. Officers then learned of another child — a five-year-old girl — that was also being watched by Wilson and Calzada-Russette.
The girl was taken to the hospital the same day with bruises, burns, scratches and a busted lip. According to the complaint, the child told a child protection worker that Calzada-Russette hurt her "a lot of times."
A further evaluation found that the girl had injuries on nearly every part of her body. She suffered "extreme abusive trauma," according to the complaint.
Hospital staff determined the girl's injuries were not accidental.
Calzada-Russette's mother claimed Wilson was to blame, accusing her of not taking medication prescribed for bipolar disorder. Calzada-Russette alleged it was Wilson who abused the kids, adding that she threatened to leave him if he reported the abuse. He also claimed that Wilson told the kids to lie and blame Calzada-Russette if they were asked about their injuries.
However, Calzada-Russette ultimately admitted to hitting the kids for "making messes, spilling water, and doing normal kid stuff."
He claimed Wilson burned the kids with lighters and cigarettes "because they didn't listen."
Both Calzada-Russette and Wilson have been arrested and are currently at the Ramsey County Jail. Calzada-Russette made his first court appearance Monday and is set to make another on Wednesday. Wilson also made her first court appearance on Monday and will make an appearance for an omnibus hearing on Oct. 18.