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Teen Babysitters Charged with Torturing Children in What Doctor Said Was ‘The Worst Case of Abuse He Has Seen in Over 20 Years’

Jamie Rae Wilson, left, and Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette (Ramsey County Sheriff's Office)

Jamie Rae Wilson and Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette. (Images via the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.)

Two teenage babysitters in Minnesota were arrested last week for allegedly torturing and abusing two young children in horrific fashion. Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette and Jamie Rae Wilson, both 19, were taken into custody on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, and charged with two counts each of child torture, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a copy of the criminal complaint obtained by the Pioneer Press, a pediatric physician who examined the two children — a 5-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother — told investigators that it was “the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years.”

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on Sept. 21 reportedly responded to an emergency call at a home located in the 400 block of Hershel Street in St. Paul regarding an injured 2-year-old boy. The caller reportedly told the dispatcher that the child had fallen down a flight of stairs.

The child was rushed to the hospital via ambulance, reportedly losing consciousness during the trip. Wilson, who rode in the ambulance with the boy, was reportedly displaying “odd behavior” on the way to the hospital. Specifically, medics said that she would not allow the boy’s clothing to be removed for medical evaluation.

A more thorough evaluation took place at the hospital, where medical personnel found that the boy was covered in bruises “all over” his body and “abnormal markings consistent with cigarette burns,” the report states.

Police reportedly questioned Wilson at the hospital, who allegedly told them that her cousin — the boy’s mother — had dropped the children off with her the previous day because she had to “clear up” an outstanding warrant in Florida. The complaint reportedly states that Wilson told investigators the child exhibited bruising and burns when he first arrived with her, though investigators reportedly noted that she appeared more interested in getting the child home than the severity of his condition.

Wilson initially told police that the boy had fallen down the stairs, per the report, but later changed her story and allegedly accused Calzada-Russette of abusing the child. She reportedly said that he hit the child with a belt several times and insinuated that Calzada-Russette was also responsible for the cigarette burns.

Police picked up Wilson the on Sept. 22 for another interview, St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP-TV reported. She was accompanied by her own 3-year-old daughter. During the interview, members of Wilson’s family reportedly came to police headquarters to try and get custody of her 3-year-old daughter, saying they’d been trying to do so for more than a year.

Also on Sept. 22, the 5-year-old girl was reportedly taken to the hospital with multiple injuries, including bruises, burns, and a fat lip. The child reportedly told investigators that Calzada-Russette had beaten her.

“Observation showed the 5-year-old girl had injuries on nearly every part of her body: cuts and bruises on her face and body, as well as possible burns on her face and body. Some of the bruising and burn scars appeared to be patterned,” KSTP reported. “Doctors were concerned the 5-year-old had blood collecting between her skull and brain, as well as blood surrounding her brain. She also had a ruptured spleen, concerning liver function and signs of severe blunt force trauma around her abdomen. Any movement caused her pain.”

The complaint reportedly said doctors characterized her injuries as non-accidental and likely caused by “extreme abusive trauma.”

That same day, Calzada-Russette reportedly went to police headquarters and blamed the physical abuse on Wilson, claiming she threatened to leave him if he reported the abuse to authorities. He further is said to have claimed that she convinced the children to lie about the provenance of their injuries.

However, Calzada-Russette eventually admitted that he was responsible for most of the physical abuse, allegedly saying it was because the children were “making messes, spilling water, and doing normal kid stuff,” per the Pioneer Press. He reportedly added that Wilson used cigarettes to burn the kids because “they didn’t listen.”

Calzada-Russette and Wilson both appeared in court on Monday and were ordered to remain in detention on $1 million bail.

[images via Ramsey County Sheriff]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.