SLEEPY EYE — A Sleepy Eye man is accused of abusing two children, including force-feeding one until he throws up and making another kneel on rice while holding jugs of water over her head.
Ramon DeJesus Lemus, 29, was charged with two felony counts of assault Monday in Brown County District Court. He also was charged with gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child and misdemeanor domestic assault.
Adult witnesses reported Lemus was abusing an 8-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy earlier this month, according to a court complaint.
The girl had bruises on her leg that she and witnesses said were from Lemus whipping her with a phone-charging cable. The girl said Lemus was upset because she had spilled milk. She said she felt like she was being hit by lightning.
The girl and witnesses told investigators Lemus has hit both children with cords, a belt, sandals or a hanger multiple times.
The girl reportedly told one witness Lemus also punishes her by forcing her to kneel on rice that he spreads across the floor. In each hand she said she is forced to hold a gallon jug of water over her head for about a half hour.
The witnesses said Lemus also has repeatedly pulled the girl’s ear, often leaving red marks and once ripping out her earring.
When the boy was younger, Lemus also reportedly forced him to eat when Lemus did not think he was eating enough. The witnesses said Lemus would forcefully shove a spoon into the toddler’s mouth, sometimes until the boy began to vomit. The girl said Lemus would pinch the boys cheeks and force food into his mouth.