A Maricopa husband and wife have been indicted by a grand jury on three counts of child abuse.
The father, Corey Masterson, 36, was taken to the sheriff’s office adult detention center Dec. 19, the day of the indictments against him and his wife Veronica. At the time of his wife’s arrest a week earlier, he had been taken to a Casa Grande hospital complaining of kidney stones.
After the indictments, Maricopa Police Department officers served an arrest warrant on him Dec. 19 at 8:20 p.m. at his home on West Windrose Drive. He was taken into custody without incident, according to police documents.
The couple is being held in the Pinal County Jail pending a bond of $50,000 each. The indictments accuse the two of committing child abuse on Nov. 16. The charges are Class 4 felonies.
Veronica Masterson is scheduled to appear in Pinal County Superior Court Dec. 28. Corey is scheduled to appear next on Jan. 18.
According to the police probable-cause statement in Veronica’s case, three children were removed from the couple’s home. During an interview with Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), one of the children said, “When my dad wants us to shut up, he ties a rubber band around our head and then tapes our mouths shut. They’re always hitting us, and my mom kicks us.”
The child told investigators her parents smoked cigarettes and “something else” that she described as white. When asked by DCS investigators about the father she said, “I don’t like him. He is so mean to us. He is always hitting us and tells us to shut up. He ignores us and doesn’t want us to talk.”
The girl also told investigators when she was grounded, she was not allowed food or water and she hid a water bottle in her backpack. After talking to investigators, she pleaded with them not to tell her parents what she said as she didn’t want the water bottle taken away, according to police documents.
“They don’t feed us, and we get super starving,” one of the children told investigators.
In the probable-cause statement, the DCS also informed Maricopa Police the mother is currently pregnant, and both parents failed to consent to drug testing.
Other allegations included spankings with paddles and belts and the older children being forced to take care of the younger children while the parents were out all night “doing bad stuff,” according to the probable cause statement.