Pennsylvania authorities have arrested a 46-year-old woman on a litany of charges, accusing her of trying to sew her 16-year-old daughter's mouth shut and eat cat litter, among other horrific acts.
Rana L. Cooper, a mother of seven children, has been the focus of an investigation that began at least six months ago. In a criminal complaint obtained by The Huffington Post, Cpl. Robert Copechal of the Pennsylvania State Police details a long list of abuses the teen suffered at the hands of her mother.
Authorities allege that the abuse may have started as soon as the child was adopted in 2008. Cooper's husband, the adoptive father, was allegedly aware of at least some of the abuse. (Read the Criminal Complaint)
WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS OF ABUSE
The teenage victim told authorities that Cooper would not allow her to eat, drink, or even use the restroom until "points" were earned by cleaning the home. The victim alleged that because of this rule, she often soiled herself and did not drink for days.
The only time the girl could eat was after the rest of the family had already eaten, according to police. On multiple occasions, Cooper allegedly forced food into the chid's mouth, inducing vomiting. In one instance, the suspect allegedly forced the child to eat cat litter. On another occasion, the victim told police Cooper would force her to "go into the bathroom and scrape her finger around the rim of the toilet and eat what was on her finger."
The criminal complaint details more than a dozen instances of abuse. Cops allege that the mother once tried to sew the child's mouth shut with a needle and thread, stopping only after piercing the child's lower lip with a needle. Cooper often threatened to cut out the child's tongue, police said.
If the victim did not listen to her parents, Cooper would forcefully jam a Q-tip into the teenager's ear, causing it to bleed and leaving her partially deaf, the complaint reads. Cooper also allegedly attempted to gouge out the child's eyes.
"Child states that mother was in her face and she closed her eyes tightly," Copechal wrote in the report. "Child stated that mother took her finger and pushed in child's eyes causing broken blood vessels in child's eyes."
Cooper allegedly hit the child numerous times with a hair brush, spit on her, and forced her to eat toothpaste. The child told police that she was allowed to eat once a day.
The police document also states:
Mother choked the child two times until child blacked out. Last time happened about a month before child was removed. The child stated that father was present when mother was choking her. Child stated that father told mother to stop however mother did not. Child stated that father proceeded to just stand there and watch as mother continued to choke child.
The child's father, 51-year-old Richard Cooper, told his wife he wanted a separation from her on Easter two years ago. Police said the mother blamed her adopted daughter for this. As punishment, Rana Cooper allegedly grabbed the girl by her neck and twisted it, then bit the child's nose until it bled before slamming her onto the ground and punching her in the face.
In July, the victim told police her mother struck her in the face with a metal belt buckle, causing her eye to swell and become discolored.
One of the suspect's seven children, 24-year-old Ronnie Cooper, told local station KDKA, that the allegations were all false.
“Nothing, none of that happened,” Ronnie Cooper said. “Like, I’m here every day, like, none of these [allegations] are true.”
In September, Rana Cooper admitted to police that she once submerged her daughter's head under water "for approximately 3-10 seconds," according to the complaint.
Cooper now faces charges including recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. District court officials told the Star Tribune that Cooper does not have a lawyer on file.
HuffPost Crime called the Cooper residence, but no one in the family was willing to speak. Richard Cooper is not currently facing charges.
Rana Cooper has a preliminary hearing set for Nov. 6.
The child no longer lives with the Cooper family.CRIMINAL COMPLAINT (WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS)