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HOLLADAY — A Holladay man has been charged with severely abusing his girlfriend's son, not allowing him to go to school so others wouldn't see his bruises.
Sawyer Daniel Hutto, 25, was charged last week in 3rd District Court with four counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony; and child kidnapping, or in the alternative aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.
The mother of the child, Kyra Rae Pacheco, 31, was also charged with child abuse, a second-degree felony.
The investigation began Nov. 5 when the woman's 9-year-old son called her saying he couldn't move his arms or legs, according to charging documents. He also had been vomiting for several days and had double vision. Doctors at Primary Children's Hospital discovered a brain injury in addition to "numerous" other injuries caused at separate times, including damage to his pancreas, the charges state.
Doctors concluded that the injuries "would have caused his death if left untreated."
When asked about the injuries, the boy said he couldn't remember, though one doctor noted "he seemed nervous or frightened," the charges state.
The next day, all of the children in the house — girls ages 4, 6, and 8 — were taken into protective custody by the Division of Child and Family Services. Pacheco's boyfriend had moved into her house five months earlier.
"The children were placed in foster care and have been going to therapy," the charges state.
On March 22, the boy, now 10, with a therapist present, finally opened up to police about abuse he said had allegedly been happening in the home. He said Hutto had slammed his head into a wall three times with such force that it left dents in the wall, according to police. Hutto also stood on top of the boy with all his weight, the charges state, held a knife to his throat while threatening him, and subjected the child to various "punishments."
Those punishments included "'wall sits,' which if were not done correctly, would result in (the boy) being beaten," the charges state.
The boy said he was frequently forced to "stay in a small closet with no light" and was only allowed to come out to eat and go to the bathroom, the charges state, "and not allowed to attend school when he had bruises that people could see."
The boy said most of the abuse happened when his mom was at work, but during the times Pacheco was present, she "didn't do anything because she was scared," according to court documents.
On July 21, detectives served a search warrant on the home and found dents in a wall consistent with the boy's story and verified he had "frequent absences" from school.
In 2015, Pacheco was convicted of stealing a van and using a credit card she found in it, according to court records. She was given a suspended prison sentence and placed on probation.
Support for victims of domestic violence is available around the clock at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or by visiting udvc.org.
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org. The statewide child abuse and neglect hotline is 1-855-323-DCFS (3237).
- The Utah Division of Child and Family Services offers counseling, teaches parenting skills and conflict resolution and can connect families with community resources. Its goal is to keep children with their family when it is "possible and safe." Visit dcfs.utah.gov/questions/ or call 801-538-4100.
- The Christmas Box House acts as a temporary shelter for children and can provide them with new clothing and shoes, among other services. Call the Salt Lake office at 801-747-2201 or the Ogden office at 801-866-0350.