Mother, boyfriend charged with child cruelty appear in court

LAKE CHARLES - The mother and boyfriend charged with thirteen counts of child cruelty appeared in 72-hour court Tuesday morning, where they were assigned a lawyer.

Sarah Jane Marshall, 23, and her boyfriend Christopher Dale Austin, 32, were arrested Saturday near Topsy. Police say Marshall and Austin abused Marshall's three children -- ages 1, 2 and 5 years-old.

Police said a visiting relative in Sulphur discovered abuse marks on the five-year-old girl and toook the girl to a local hospital on Saturday.

After authorities went to a home Marshall and Austin were staying in, deputies discovered Marshall's two other children. Deputies arrested Marshall and Austin and took the children to a local hospital.

Deputies said all three children were beaten, bitten, kicked and had their hair pulled out.

Neither Marshall nor Austin have previous criminal histories.

Both are currently being held on $10 million bail.