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Kokomo father, girlfriend charged after girl malnourished, beaten, slammed into wall: Court docs

Posted at 7:06 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 19:08:26-04

KOKOMO — The father a 9-year-old girl and his girlfriend are accused of physically abusing the child and neglecting her to the point she became malnourished.

Tracy A. Seats, 32, the girl's father, and Amy D. Smith, 38, were charged in an investigation opened after she came to school malnourished and bruised, court records show.

Kokomo police detectives began their investigation when they were called to a local hospital for a report of child abuse. The girl was taken to the hospital after she arrived to school looking malnourished and with marks and bruises all over her body, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The girl was so thin she had several bones protruding and she weighed just 48.51 pounds. She also hadn't bathed recently and was wearing dirtied and stained clothes, according to the affidavit.

When asked about her bruising, the girl told an Indiana Department of Child Services worker that Seats and Smith took turns beating her with a belt and that Seats grabbed her by her throat, choked her, held her against a wall, and slammed her head into a door. The girl also said Seats acted like he was going to hit her in the head with a hammer, scaring her to the point she urinated.

A medical examination found the girl had bruises and abrasions on both her knees and several bruises on her neck, the right side of her thigh area, left upper thigh, right hip and stomach area, and chin, according to the affidavit.

A police officer who had spoken earlier with Tracy said he commented on the girl's bruises but then changed his story, stating he didn't know anything about it. He also said he and Smith had both spanked the girl as a form of discipline, the affidavit alleges.

Seats was also charged in 2019 with neglect in a separate investigation.

Seats and Smith are both charged with one count each of domestic battery with serious bodily injury, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and domestic battery with bodily injury. Seats also faces a count of intimidation using a deadly weapon and strangulation. All charges are felonies.

Seats and Smith are scheduled to appear before a jury Sept. 30 in Howard Superior Court.