Parents face over 600 years combined after pleading to ‘serial child abuse and torture’ of kids


Mary Vinson and Charles Vinson

Mary Vinson and Charles Vinson (Delaware Attorney General’s Office)

A 36-year-old man and his 45-year-old wife in Delaware this week admitted to a litany of horrific crimes for torturing and abusing their two children for nearly two years.

Mary Vinson and Charles Vinson face a combined total of more than 500 years in prison after pleading guilty to more than 50 felony charges for the reviling mistreatment of the kids, one of whom was abused from ages 11 to 13 while the other was abused from ages 10 to 11, authorities said.

Mary Vinson, the boys’ stepmother, pleaded to 42 felonies, including six counts of first-degree child abuse, two counts of kidnapping, four counts of strangulation, and two counts of conspiracy, among other charges. Charles Vinson, their biological father, pleaded to 12 felonies, including three counts of first-degree child abuse, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of intimidation and one count of second-degree assault.

“These are the cases that keep us up at night,” Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a statement after the plea hearing. “The pain that these children endured — and that it was inflicted by people who should have been their protectors — is unthinkable. Thanks to the efforts of our prosecutors and of our partners in law enforcement, these abusers will be in prison for years to come. Their victims are safe now — but I also know that they have a long road of healing ahead of them. They are in all of our hearts today.”

The husband and wife are set to be sentenced in Kent County Superior Court in January. Mary Vinson faces between 30 and 444 years in prison. Her husband faces between 10 and 158 years.

According to a press release from the AG’s office, the Vinsons heartlessly abused the two children in their Houston-area home over 20 months. It is about 65 miles south of Wilmington, Delaware. Prosecutors previously categorized their actions as “serial child abuse and torture.”

The abuse included making the children stand in place for extended periods, withholding food, force-feeding, and physical assaults.

Authorities previously said the parents regularly punched and kicked the kids in the face, often making one of the boys watch their sibling being hurt. The parents captured many of the attacks on video by the parents.

Both children were hospitalized several times over the past two years “due to the severity of the abuse,” much of which was caught on video by cameras that the parents had installed in the kids’ rooms, authorities said.

As previously reported by Law&Crime, prosecutors said in court documents that between March 2021 and March 2022, physical assaults at the hands of Mary and Charles Vinson resulted in the children being hospitalized six times. In April 2021, both of their children were hospitalized on the same day.

The Vinsons also provided false information about the children to medical professionals and doctors when the kids required medical treatment and lied to investigators looking into allegations of abuse against the couple.

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