Lakechia Schonta Stanley has been sentenced to 78 years in prison for what is being referred to as the ‘systemic torture’ of her children. Stanley pleaded guilty to 34 felonies that included multiple counts of assault and endangering the welfare of a child stemming from her beating, whipping and waterboarding her own children.
Had it not been for her then 10-year-old daughter deciding to reach out to a school librarian, the abuse may not have been uncovered. The 10-year-old told the school librarian that she had been beaten with a baseball bat for not cleaning the kitchen and that her younger 8-year-old sister had suffered the same punishment for staying in the shower too long. The older girl’s arm was cold to the touch and doctor’s found that her arm had been hit so hard that the blood supply to it had been constricted.
Prosecutors revealed that Stanley would whip her daughters with electrical cords, force them to take freezing cold or scalding hot showers and also waterboard them. Detective Robert Jauer, who wrote a probable cause statement for the case, states, “The scarring on these two girls is the worst scarring I have ever seen on children from repeated whippings from objects.”
Assistant circuit attorney Tanja Engelhardt wrote to the judge and described the abuse as something that exceeding the definition of child abuse and would be more aptly described as systemic torture. Engelhardt stated, “What the defendant did to three of her own children far exceeds the definition of child abuse…She was supposed to be their mother, the one person they could trust.”
Stanley’s husband, Alexander Rui Stanley, pleaded guilt to 42 felony counts last year regarding the abuse of the girls. He submitted Alford pleas on other charges, and was sentenced to 160 years in prison. The couple lived in St. Louis with their three children.