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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A couple accused of waterboarding their 12-year-old daughter have reached a plea deal.
Last year, Malisa and Dion Stevens, of Aliquippa, allegedly waterboarded the girl to punish her.
Under the deal, the couple will be on probation for five to seven years.
The family can also be reunited under supervision.
“We have entered into a tentative plea agreement with the district attorney’s office. It’s my hope that the agreement will be upheld. It’s an agreement that is geared toward family unification,” defense attorney Lee Rothman said.
The details of the agreement will be worked out at a future court hearing, but the Stevens would plead guilty to a felony county of endangering the welfare of a child.
“The district attorney’s office has also agreed to lift the no contact order with the mother and father with their child, and they’re to have no violent contact and there will be unification process through Children and Youth Family Services,” Rothman said.
“My client Mr. Dion Stevens’ goal was to reunify with his daughter and I believe that his daughter has expressed the same token here today, and after discussing it with the DA, I think we are on the next step to reach that goal,” defense attorney Brandon Eberle said.
The incident happened last April at their Main Street home.
Police say the girl was taped into a chair with packing tape. Her hands were tied behind her back and rags were shoved into her mouth. Then, the girl said water was poured over her mouth to keep her from screaming and breathing.
They allegedly told police they got the idea of waterboarding as a form of punishment from watching a movie.