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Mother, live-in boyfriend arrested on child abuse charges involving hot sauce, pillow and BB gun

Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga and Sabrina Irene Emerick

GREENVILLE, S.C. – A South Carolina mother and her live-in boyfriend were arrested after police said her children were tortured on numerous occasions including instances involving hot sauce, a pillow and a BB gun.

Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga, 37, and Sabrina Irene Emerick, 25, both of Greenville, face charges of unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of cruelty to children.

The victims are 5 and 7 years, according to the Greenville Police Department. Investigators said they documented numerous instances of abuse dating back to September 2017.

In on instance, Saladaga is accused of rubbing a hot pepper on a child’s private area as punishment for urinating on the couch while sleeping.

Another time, he allegedly held a pillow over one of the children’s face and the child was unable to breathe.

Police said he also rubbed hot sauce all over at least one of the children’s faces, causing the child to vomit.

Police said additional abuse included punishing a child by hitting him all over his body, making the child take hot and cold showers and shooting the victim in the foot with a BB gun.

Detectives said the mother was aware of the abuse and allowed her children to be placed at risk.

“Heinous crimes against children are some of the most difficult cases we investigate,” said Lt. Jason Rampey of GPD’s Criminal Investigations Division. “The horrific stories of abuse endured by these children are sickening and reprehensible. As such, the children have been removed from this abusive environment for their safety and well-being.”

Saladaga was given a $25,000 bond and Emerick a $10,000 bond, which both posted and were released on February 15.

As a condition of bond, Saladaga is required to wear electronic monitoring and have no contact with the children.

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