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Police: Parents on the run after waterboarding 12-year-old daughter

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — An extreme case of child abuse has been reported; police say two parents admitted to waterboarding their child.

They are on the run and police are looking for them.

Police say the parents were using this technique as discipline.

Aliquippa police say their actions were way over the line and what they did to their own child is a crime.


Dion and Malisa Stevens are wanted in Beaver County for waterboarding, a technique formerly used to interrogate terrorists, to punish their 12-year-old daughter.

"I had to help the child," said the neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, but called ChildLine after the girl confided in her.

"No child should have to go through that, as a parent something you can imagine even doing."

According to the criminal complaint that Channel 11 obtained, the 12-year-old told police her parents dragged her downstairs, stuffed rags in her mouth, placed rages over her face, put her in a chair, tied her hands behind her back and poured a bucket of cold water over her covered face.

The 12-year-old screamed, panicked and tried to get loose from the chair, according to police paperwork.

She also couldn't breathe.

Detectives say the parents admitted to the extreme discipline because they saw it in a movie.

Police say the minute the parents found out that they were being investigated, they packed everything up out of their house and moved out. No one has seen them since.

"I think anyone who hears the story will realize that this wasn't a punishment or discipline. This was a crime," said Capt. Ryan Pudik with Aliquippa police.

The couple is facing serious charges of strangulation, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and endangering the welfare of a child.

There is an active warrant for both of them.

The girl is with a foster family and doing well.