Two couples have been charged in Polk County after deputies say several children were shocked with a stun gun as punishment.
Eduardo Vazquez, 22, William Torres-Morales, 22, Elizabeth Tarvin, 33, and Veronica Sanchez, 32, face charges including aggravated child abuse, evidence tampering and giving false information to an officer.
The investigation began after the state Department of Children and Families received a report in mid-July that nine children were being disciplined with a stun gun, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators found the children had prong marks on their skin consistent with a stun gun injury.
At least seven kids faced what investigators call "torture". The kids live at the home with the men and women, but investigators would not disclose the relationship.
According to deputies, some of the suspects denied the allegations and gave other explanations for how the injuries occurred. Deputies say one of them, Vasquez, hid the stun gun from law enforcement.
"They were stunning them over and over and over again for no good reason," said Sheriff Grady Judd.
But their count, investigators believe the men used the stun gun on the children at least 36 times, mainly after they kids failed to finish their push-ups.
Their girlfriends are accused of not doing anything to stop the abuse.
Judd said one didn't report it because they didn't want to lose the kids, and the other didn't report it because she didn't want to lose her boyfriend.
The men are locked up on half million dollar bonds.