Facebook video leads to child abuse charges for Flint mother, 2 others

Prosecutor says suspect went beyond reasonable parental discipline

DETROIT – A Michigan mother and two others are charged with child abuse after being accused of hitting an 11-year-old boy more than 50 times with a belt and later posting the video on Facebook.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the boy's mother, 28-year-old Demitria Latrion Powell of Flint, is charged with three counts of third-degree child abuse.

Uteas Michelle Taylor, 42, Stefon Tirrell Felton, 39, both of Flint,  are also charged with third-degree child abuse.

The video, from April 3, shows the boy holding onto a chair while he is smacked in the face and hit with the belt. The adults warn him not to get involved in gang activity.

Leyton said the boy was being punished, but the parents "went beyond what is a reasonable level of parental discipline."

Leyton said he was "disturbed" after watching the video.

The video was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook, and eventually got the attention of Flint police and the Michigan Department of Human Services.

"What the video in this case reveals is a group of adults whose actions were a criminal assault against a child and that behavior cannot be condoned nor allowed under the law," Leyton said.

The boy and an infant that was also in the home have been taken into protective custody.