Startling accusations have been made against adults who are alleged to have hurt a 5-year-old autistic boy. This man is being sought by police.

Sergeant Daesha Hughes, Spokeswoman for the New Iberia Police Department, told KLFY they have a warrant out for the arrest of Michael Shockley. She says he is one of four other adults that were apparently beating a 5-year-old child with a belt. They took turns doing that, and they took turns humiliating this little boy.

Hughes says that the reason the child was being harmed was a reaction to the child getting into trouble when he was at school.

The other four people have been arrested, but Hughes says they are actively pursuing Shockley. The arrest warrant is for a charge of cruelty to juveniles.

Among the people that have already been arrested in connection with the allegations are the child's mother, Christian Riegger. She was booked on the following charges:

  • Cruelty to a Juvenile
  • Child Desertion

The little boy showed up at school complaining that he didn't feel well. According to Hughes bruises were noticed on the child.

Hughes says the three other people believed to be involved in this case are Lanie Blanchard, Gage Migues, and Cailtlyn Johnson. Each of those three was charged with Principal/Cruelty to a Juvenile.

When you are convicted of committing Cruelty to a Juvenile, this is what the law says about that crime according to law.justia.com:

RS 14:93 Cruelty to Juveniles

A. Cruelty to juveniles is:

(1) The intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect by anyone seventeen years of age or older of any child under the age of seventeen whereby unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused to said child. Lack of knowledge of the child's age shall not be a defense; or

(2) The intentional or criminally negligent exposure by anyone seventeen years of age or older of any child under the age of seventeen to a clandestine laboratory operation as defined by R.S. 40:983 in a situation where it is foreseeable that the child may be physically harmed. Lack of knowledge of the child's age shall not be a defense.

(3) The intentional or criminally negligent allowing of any child under the age of seventeen years by any person over the age of seventeen years to be present during the manufacturing, distribution, or purchasing or attempted manufacturing, distribution, or purchasing of a controlled dangerous substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law. Lack of knowledge of the child's age shall not be a defense.

B. The providing of treatment by a parent or tutor in accordance with the tenets of a well-recognized religious method of healing, in lieu of medical treatment, shall not for that reason alone be considered to be criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect of a child. The provisions of this Subsection shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this Section. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the provisions of R.S. 40:1299.36.1.

C. The trial judge shall have the authority to issue any necessary orders to protect the safety of the child during the pendency of the criminal action and beyond its conclusion.

D. Whoever commits the crime of cruelty to juveniles shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.

Acts 1985, No. 827, §1; Acts 2004, No. 143, §1; Acts 2008, No. 7, §1.

The victim has been placed into the foster care system.