John R. Shorez, a resident of Fenton Township – a suburb of Flint MI – stands accused of severe abuse of a child in his care. Shorez is being held on a $10,000 bond in the Genesee County jail, and faces charges of first-degree child abuse. If convicted, Shorez could receive 15 years in prison on the felony charge.
According to the Genesee County sheriff’s department, Shorez is accused of jabbing a finger into the eye of a 4-year-old girl as many as 40 times, besides blistering the tot’s feet above a space heater. According to the Flint Journal, Shorez was angered when the little girl accidentally kicked the man’s infant son. The injured girl is the sister of Shorez’ adult female room-mate.

Sheriff Robert Pickell questioned Shorez’ “mindset” and likened the 35-year-old’s behaviour to “torture”, according to the newspaper. “It was brutal, unnecessary thing to happen.” The abuse happened on November 23, the day before the observance of Thanksgiving, in a trailer park near Loon Lake on Eastview Drive in Fenton Township. It was not until three days later that the abuse was discovered, when a neighbour reported the tyke’s injuries to Child Protective Services of Genesee County.

CPS and the sheriff’s department found that the 4-year-old had a blackened eye, bruises on her body, and blistering on her feet. She had been tortured, apparently, for four hours. She has been treated at Hurley Hospital in Flint and is now in the care of relatives. So far, it does not appear that the child’s mother will be charged.

Over the last year, the area has been shocked by reports of severe child abuse and neglect. Less than six miles away from the latest incident, 4-year-old Dominick Calhoun was beaten to death by his mother’s lover, Brandon Hayes, in 2010. Hayes has had a hearing and now awaits a murder trial. Corrine Baker, Dominick’s mother, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges.  In another such case, 2-year-old Tiarra Woodward died in July 2011 subsequent to severe abuse.  She died following severe trauma to the abdomen. Human bite marks were also found on her body. Her 20-year-old father stands charged with murder.

Child Protective Services was questioned in 2006 over the death of 5-year-old Rose Kelly. She reportedly died of a fever, but it was determined afterward that she had suffered severe neglect before her death. In that case, CPS and local police found the child's home bedaubed with dog feces and infested with vermin.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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