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Utah couple accused of child abuse, waterboarding 9-year-old girl

A Provo couple is accused of waterboarding a 9-year-old girl on three different occasions, court documents state. While interviewing the 9-year-old victim, police discovered the girl's father, 29-year-old Joseph Mitchell, and her stepmother, 28-year-old Ilaria Mitchell, had allegedly abused the girl on three separate occasions. (Photo courtesy of the Utah County Jail)

PROVO, Utah (KUTV) - A Provo couple is accused of waterboarding a 9-year-old girl on three different occasions, court documents state.

On Dec. 3, authorities received a report about possible physical abuse occurring at a home in Provo.

While interviewing the 9-year-old victim, police discovered the girl's father, 29-year-old Joseph Mitchell, and her stepmother, 28-year-old Ilaria Mitchell, had allegedly abused the girl on three separate occasions, court documents state.

The Mitchell's allegedly punished the 9-year-old by waterboarding her. The girl told police that Joseph and Ilaria would tie her hands behind her back and hold her down in the bathtub.

Ilaria is also accused of hitting the girl with a closed fist in the nose and making her bleed.

The 9-year-old described several other types of abuse that were not specifically identified in court documents.

Authorities agreed that the marks on the girl's wrist were consistent with her story about her hands being tied behind her back. She was taken to the hospital. Both suspects were booked into the Utah County Jail.

While Joseph was in jail, an officer found a credit card in his wallet that belong to a Kysa Leandro.

Joseph told the officer the card belongs to his 7-year-old nephew.


The Mitchell's each face one count of child abuse. Joseph faces an additional charge for unlawfully possessing a financial card.

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