The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, February 6, 1998

Punishment for siblings called abuse: Cobb tots suffered same `ice bath,' official testifies. By Don Plummer, Staff Writer

A Marietta toddler received the same ice-water discipline that nearly killed his 3-year-old sister, a child abuse investigator testified Thursday.

Three-year-old Alexis barely survived the treatment, passing out after she was repeatedly dunked in a tub filled with ice cubes and water. The incident occurred in November 1996. One week later, she told a Cobb child protective investigator that when her younger brother Jonathan "gets in trouble he goes in the tub, too."

Ginger Hinds, the mother standing trial on four counts of child abuse, buried her face in her hands as investigator Patti Sipos detailed other allegations by Alexis:

Ginger Hinds opened the bathroom window as her 29-year-old live- in boyfriend repeatedly pushed Alexis under water. The temperature that night was in the 30s. Donald Carver, the boyfriend, held Alexis in the tub as her mother poured ice on the 28-pound girl's head.

Carver toilet trained Jonathan by pinching the boy's penis when he wet his pants.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Michael Moody showed jurors photos of the boy's enlarged and reddened penis. A doctor testified that Jonathan was bruised over 65-70 percent of his abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

Carver and Hinds each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of four counts of child abuse. Carver pleaded guilty earlier this week, and is expected to testify today.

Hinds' attorney has said that she did not participate in the beatings, and did not report them because she feared abuse by her boyfriend.

Sipos, the investigator, said that the day after Alexis was brought to the emergency room, Hinds was more concerned with her own future. "She asked if taking parenting classes would help her with the criminal charges she was facing," Sipos said. "I told her I thought it had gone past that."

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