A Michigan mother pleaded guilty to child abuse after being accused of beating her son and locking him in a closet with no food or access to a toilet.
24-year-old Megan Schug of Battle Creek entered a guilty plea on Tuesday while appearing before Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Sarah Lincoln. Schug faces up to life in prison.
Officials were first made aware of the abuse when Schug took her son, 4-year-old Maloyd Gaines to a medical facility on March 22, 2017, reported the Battle Creek Enquirer.
According to doctors, the child was extremely emaciated and having trouble breathing.
"I saw a child that was near death," Dr. James Yenger told District Judge James Norlander in June 2017.
Battle Creek police alleged that the 4-year-old child was kept in a locked closet for days at a time with no food. Additionally, his feet were bound and he was forced to urinate and defecate on himself.
As a result of the terrible conditions, the child lost several toes to gangrene. During the trial on Tuesday, prosecutors said he remains in a rehabilitation facility. A court ordered Schug’s other four children to be removed from her custody.
Schug’s boyfriend Isaac Miller, 35, was also charged with child abuse and is scheduled to stand trial in March in circuit court.
Schug told the judge she placed the boy and her daughter in the closet overnight as punishment and that she whipped the boy with a paddle. Although she admitted to the abuse, she claimed she was forced by Miller to punish her kids.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Buscher said the investigation showed that the child's feet were tied and that the abuse occurred between December 2016 and March 22, 2017.
Schug is scheduled to be sentenced April 13.
(Photos: Battle Creek Police Department)