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Heartbreaking Child Abuse Cases in Phoenix

Phoenix Mother Arrested for Child Abuse

Child Abuse is sadly becoming more common in the United States. More and more people are getting their kids rightfully taken away for being malicious towards their kids.

A Phoenix mother has at least fifteen child welfare cases against her. Now the police have finally rescued her son from the very filthy home they lived in.

The most recent case against the mother, was opened in February 2016. However the DCS spokesman wouldn’t give any information about that case.

According to the court records, the interior of the home in Phoenix was so disgusting that the first responders could only stand to be in the home for ten minutes at a time.

Police Search Child Abuse Case Home

The police showed up to the home of a twenty-eight year old woman, Vernia Elizabeth Livingston an thirty-two year old, Gilbert Martinez. This happened on May 27th 2016. According to the reports, the landlord had gone inside of the home to spray for bugs. But when the landlord got inside he was quite surprised to find that the home was in “an overwhelming state of filth”. The home was completely infested with bed bugs, cockroaches as well as rats. That’s most adults worst nightmares, let alone innocent children.

The landlord then contacted the police since she knew that an eight year old child had to suffer through living there. The landlord had been close with the family for some years.

Landlord’s Statement:

I know there is a [DCS] case open right now, so I don’t know how it could get his bad and they not do something prior.

The police have found some dogs and cats chasing and eating the rats at the home. Talk about nasty. The home was reportedly located near 37th Avenue and Deer Valley Road.


Police Reported that:

The furniture, walls, ceilings and floors were so highly infested with bed bugs that in some places, the ceilings appeared to be black.

Police also found that there was disturbingly large amount of animals as well as bug feces throughout the home. Including where the boy would eat and sleep. During the investigation they also found prescription drugs and weapons near the child’s toys.

They police have said that the child was well spoken and was able to tell the police that he usually feeds himself however he didn’t have any lunch or dinner that day. The little boy didn’t want the DCS to be called because he understandably likes living with his mother. No matter the horrible conditions you always love your mother.

DCS had to be called and they eventually ended up taking custody of the child.


Landlord’s Statement:

I hope that he gets placed in a normal home that’s loving and obviously clean and not disgusting.

The little boy also told the police that he doesn’t get to shower that often since the shower is broken. He also lost his toothbrush. How sad!

Both of the adults were arrested and will face preliminary charges for child abuse. They have both been released from jail, pending trial. A friend of the couple told the police that the house was in such a mess because the family was getting ready to move. She also blamed the landlord for their pest issues.


Phoenix Couple Charged for Child Abuse

Another Phoenix couple is going to be facing charges of child abuse against a six year old boy. The boy sadly suffered from severe burns where the young child had to stand barefoot on the hot ground!



Police say Mark Simmons, 27, made the boy stand barefoot in the backyard for 10 minutes as punishment and hit him multiple times with a belt, leaving bruises.

Sarah Simmons, 30, is accused of cutting the blistered flaps from the bottom of the boy’s feet and threatening to make him stand outside again if he didn’t stop crying, according to court documents.

Phoenix police Child Crime Detectives began investigating the case after being called to the Maricopa County Burn Center on July 12, two days after the incident took place.

Sarah Simmons would later tell police that they didn’t seek immediate medical treatment for the child because she was “afraid the children in the house would be taken away,” police wrote in court record.

“It was only when the victim’s wounds became infected and the top of his feet became red that she and Mark decided to call the fire department for medical care,” police wrote.

Mark Simmons was arrested on suspicion of two counts of child abuse on July 13 but has since been indicted by a grand jury. His next court appearance is set for 8:15 a.m. Sept. 13.

Sarah Simmons was booked into jail Thursday on suspicion of child abuse. Police said in court records that, prior to the latest incident, she has been the subject of approximately 30 Arizona Department of Child Safety reports. Her next court appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. August 11 in Maricopa County Superior Court.


Criminal Defense Lawyers PLLC
668 N 44th St. Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 351-6445