South Carolina Mom and Boyfriend Use Hot Sauce and Peppers to Allegedly Torture 5 and 7-year-old Kids

A mother and her live-in boyfriend have been arrested on suspicion of "heinous" crimes against her two young children, including rubbing hot sauce on their face and genitals and suffocating them with pillows.

Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga, 37, and Sabrina Irene Emerick, 25, have both been both charged with unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of cruelty to children (torture, deprivation) with Saladaga also facing an additional charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature following an investigation by South Carolina's Greenville Police Department.

Police said the abuse inflicted on Emerick's sons, aged 5 and 7, dates back to at least September 2017.

Saladaga is accused of numerous acts of abuse and torture, including rubbing a hot pepper on one of the boy's genitals as punishment for urinating on the couch while he was asleep, the Greenville Police Department said in a statement. He is also accused of rubbing hot sauce all over the child's face, eyes, and mouth, causing him to vomit.

Police said Saladaga carried out other cruel forms of punishment against the children, including making them take extremely hot and cold showers, repeatedly striking them, shooting them in the feet with a BB gun and multiple occasions where he would hold a pillow over one of the boy's face, resulting in him being unbale to breathe.

"Investigators have learned that each of these abuses were forms of discipline for misbehaving at school or wetting the couch while sleeping," Greenville Police Lieutenant Jason Rampey said a press conference, reports Greenville News.

"From what we know, the mother did not participate in the abuse, but she was aware of it and allowed the children to be placed at unreasonable risk."

Saladaga and Emerick were both released from custody on February 15 after posting $25,000 bond and $10,000 bond respectively.

As a condition of his bond, Saladaga is forced to wear an electronic monitoring and have no contact with the children.

The boys have since been removed from the home and are currently living with a family member, Greenville News reported.

"Heinous crimes against children are some of the most difficult cases we investigate," Rampey added in a statement.

"The horrific stories of abuse endured by these children are sickening and reprehensible. As such, the children have been removed from this abusive environment for their safety and well-being."

Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga
Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga (L) and Sabrina Irene Emerick have both been both charged with unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of cruelty to Emerick's two young children. Greenville Police Department
South Carolina Mom and Boyfriend Use Hot Sauce and Peppers to Allegedly Torture 5 and 7-year-old Kids | U.S.