One of two former caregivers at a Tyler special-needs home will spend 10 years in prison for physically and verbally abusing a nonverbal teen with autism.
Auston Kile Reed, 24, of Lindale, pleaded guilty to two charges of injury to a disabled person causing reckless serious bodily injury on Tuesday in the 241st District Court.
His plea included 10-year sentences for each charge, but each will run at the same time. Reed will receive 343 days of jail credit after being in the Smith County Jail since Feb. 19.
His co-defendant Bubacarr Ceesay, 25, of Tyler, who is also accused of abusing the teen, is set to have a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 24 in the same court.
Ceesay is charged with one count of injury to a disabled person and has been out of jail since March 26 last year.
Reed and Ceesay were arrested after the teen’s father reported security video of the men abusing his son repeatedly, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The father of the teen came to the Tyler Police Department with the video. He placed hidden cameras in his son’s room because he wanted to know what his son was doing, the affidavit stated.
In a video, Reed is seen yelling at the teen, who was changing clothes at the time, to take off his shoes. The teen started to pull his pants down before taking his shoes off and Reed hit him, according to the affidavit.
In another video, Reed is seen grabbing the teen by the neck and hitting him in the side of the head with Reed’s open hand, which made the teen’s head snap to the side, according to the police document.
In another video, Reed hit the teen with an open hand after Reed saw the teen soiled in his adult diaper. The hit caused the teen’s head to snap back and to the side, the affidavit stated.
A video showed Ceesay take his shoe off and struck the teen in the head several times to wake him up. The teen has to be awakened to use the restroom during the night.
Once he woke up, Ceesay hit him two more times in the head with the shoe. When he sat up, Ceesay used the shoe to hit him in the back of the head, according to the affidavit.
In addition to autism and being nonverbal, medical documents show the teen has multiple disabilities and disorders. Because of his diagnosis, someone needs to be with him at all times, the affidavit stated.
The group home is overseen by Community Access Inc., which operates homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Tonya Moses, vice president of Community Access, said in the prepared statement the company was horrified by what happened to the teen and it does not tolerate any mistreatment.
Ceesay and Reed were fired from their positions.
“We do our best to hire, train and retain employees and associates that are passionate about providing quality personalized care. Upon learning of this, we immediately reported it to the authorities and removed the employees from our payroll,” Moses’ statement read.
During separate interviews with police, Ceesay and Reed both denied abusing the teen, but they admitted to the abuse after being shown the video, according to the documents.