15-Year-Old Sexually Abused, Shot, Set On Fire By Mother And Her Boyfriend

Courtesy of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff' Office
Courtesy of Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’ Office

OAN’s Abril Elfi
12:28 PM – Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Louisiana couple who attempted to escape to Texas has been arrested after raping, shooting, and setting a 15-year-old girl on fire. 

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Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet reported that 40-year-old Latonya Ann Harris and 41-year-old Terrence Washington were taken into custody for a series of violent, gruesome crimes that were made evident to police during the aftermath of a car accident.

The Sheriff’s office said that on April 21st, they received information about a 15-year-old girl whose body was found badly burned and shot multiple times following a car crash in Baytown, Texas. 

According to officials, it was revealed that the young victim had suffered severe injuries that were inflicted on her by her mother, Harris, as well as her mother’s boyfriend, Washington. 

The Baytown Police Department confirmed that both Harris and Washington were taken into custody in connection with the incident and the discovery of the 15-year-old victim.

Officials say they were notified of complaints regarding a vehicle that was driving “carelessly” on Interstate-10 East, which soon crashed on a service road. What they crashed into, and whether it was another vehicle or a median, was not reported.

When officers arrived, Washington was immediately taken into custody after police discovered a gun resting on top of the driver’s seat.

Along with Harris, who was badly injured in the collision, the 15-year-old victim was admitted to the hospital immediately due to her serious injuries. After a medical examination, the 15-year-old’s upper body was found to have extensive burns, with signs showing that “her face and chest had been shot” with a firearm as well.

One investigator described the wounds as being among the worst they had ever witnessed on a victim, and hospital staffers noted that it was a miracle that she was still alive.

After interrogating him, Baytown Police reported that Washington eventually acknowledged sexually abusing the young girl over a period of “months,” and he also confessed to shooting the victim during an altercation at their Thibodaux, Louisiana home. He continued, explaining that the girl’s mother, Harris, had been treating her daughter’s wounds at home after setting her on fire in February 2024. The couple, in addition to the 15-year-old, soon departed from Louisiana to Texas in order to not be caught for their acts of abuse.

The 15-year-old recounted to authorities that during Mardi Gras season, she began to feel hot and quickly woke up to find her clothes on fire, with her mother standing over her bed with “a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a lighter.”

The child had not received any sort of medical attention during those months since the couple feared that they would be caught for their crimes if they brought her to a hospital.

After searching the family’s residence, authorities found evidence that confirmed a weapon had been fired inside the home, along with blood evidence. According to Washington, Harris set her 15-year-old daughter on fire after learning about the boyfriend’s sexual abuse. She shockingly blamed her own daughter for his sexual advances.

After finally being discharged from a Texas hospital, Harris was detained when she arrived back in Terrebonne Parish. She was accused of attempting first-degree murder, second-degree juvenile cruelty, and endangering the welfare of a child through domestic abuse battery.

The mother was brought to the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex, and she now has a $1,000,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Washington is charged with multiple offenses, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree rape, molestation of a juvenile, obstruction of justice, and three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. He is being held by the Harris County Detention Center on charges related to crimes in Texas, but he will eventually be transferred to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is currently ongoing.

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