Mother, boyfriend charged with 13 counts of child cruelty

By Brandon Richards

LAKE CHARLES (KPLC) - Sarah Jane Marshall, 23, and her boyfriend, Christopher Dale Austin, 32, were arrested for  thirteen counts of child cruelty.

Calcasieu Parish Deputies said an out of town male relative was watching Marshall's five-year-old girl in Sulphur on Saturday. The relative noticed the injuries on the little girl and took her to a local hospital.

Deputies arrested Marshall and Austin at a home they were staying in near Topsy.

Authorities also had Marshall's two other children, a one-year-old and three-year-old, taken to an area hospital.

"The investigation revealed that the three children had been beaten, kicked, slapped, bitten and had their hair pulled out," Calcasieu Criminal Investigations Division Commander Mike Byrne said. "According to the medical examiner at the hospital, the children were also dehydrated and malnourished."

Authorities also said the children were treated for older injuries, including a rib fracture, broken hip and lacerated perineum.

All three children were taken into state custody.

The owner of the home Marshall and Austin were staying in, is not involved in the case.