Three arrested for Vernon child abuse

Three arrested for Vernon child abuse
Three arrested for Vernon child abuse (Source: KPLC)

ROSEPINE, La. (KPLC) - Three arrests have been made in the Rosepine area for child abuse, according to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Sam Craft says their office was notified about a vehicle accident on Lockhart Cutoff Road in the Rosepine area around 9:20 p.m. on July 6th.

An officer from the Rosepine Police Department and a Louisiana State Police Trooper that arrived on scene found Dakota Singletary, 22, of Lake Charles, and Allen Fulks, 20, of Rosepine, at the scene of the accident with minor injuries. During their investigation of the accident Stacy Lynn Tharpe, 29, of Rosepine, arrived at the scene with her children.

The Rosepine Police Officer, who knew an additional child was in the care of Tharpe inquired where the child was. Tharpe reportedly told the officer that the child was now in her mother’s care. However, a witness at the scene refuted this and told officers that the child was still in Tharpe’s care.

Both the Louisiana State Trooper and Rosepine Police Officer who arrived on scene traveled to Tharpe’s residence on Hwy 1146 where they found a 7-year old girl suffering from extensive bruising on her face and whose eyes were swollen shut.

Authorities called for an ambulance and the girl was transported to a local hospital.

During the course of a medical examination, more bruising was found over the girl’s entire body. The girl also said that Singletary and Fulks had repeatedly beaten her, choked her until she lost consciousness, and cut off her hair. She reportedly told deputies that she was tired and couldn’t take the abuse any longer.

The child is continuing to undergo medical treatment for her injuries.

When Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Detectives responded to the call for assistance it was learned that the girl’s mother had left her in Tharpe’s care in February 2020 and had not returned.

Both Singletary and Fulks were transported to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office following their treatment for injuries they received during the vehicle accident. There, Sheriff’s Office detectives conducted interviews with both of them who detectives say both admitted to physically abusing the child.

Singletary and Fulks were both arrested for three counts of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Judge Tony Bennett set both of their bonds at $450,000.

On July 8, the Sheriff’s Office also conducted an interview with Tharpe who reportedly also admitted to witnessing the abuse of the child. The Sheriff’s Office determined that Tharpe had failed to report the abuse and attempted to hide the child’s whereabouts and injuries by leaving her at the residence unattended.

Tharpe was arrested for being principal to second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Judge Tony Bennett set her bond at $300,000.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office says that the physical and emotional trauma suffered by the child is one of the worst, if not the worst, case of child abuse that the parish has seen.

Detectives were able to locate the father of the child and are working with the Department of Children and Family Services on this case.

Sheriff Sam Craft commends Rosepine Police Department Officer Green, Louisiana State Police Trooper Peter Smith, and Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective David Vance for their diligence and hard work in the rescue of this child.

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