Mother charged with sexual abuse of own children

Crime

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — Wednesday, Amber Maritta Cartwright, 24 of Crane Hill and Zachary Levi Burns, 23 of Cullman were arrested on several counts of sexual abuse of two children, both under age 12. Cartwright also has two charges of enticing a child for immoral purpose and incest pending.

According to the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, the two victims reported the alleged sexual abuse to a relative, who alerted investigators with the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said that Cartwright and Burns would engage in sex acts with each other, and force the children to participate in the acts. Authorities confirmed to WIAT that Cartwright is the mother of the victims, which have been taken from her custody and are with D.H.R.

“It’s safe to say this is one of the worst child sexual abuse cases I have seen in my career,” Sheriff Matt Gentry said. “These children are very brave for coming forward to help us put these predators behind bars. There is no punishment severe enough for these two that fits this crime.”

“This is just horrifying because when I was little I was sexually assaulted from when I was 4 to 14. My stepfather was put in jail and that’s still not enough justice,” said sexual abuse victim, Chelsea Champion.

Cartwright is being charged with sodomy in the 1st degree and two counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12. Two counts of enticing a child for immoral purpose and incest are pending.

Burns is also being charged with sodomy in the 1st degree and two counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12. Burns also has two charges of enticing a child for immoral purpose pending.

The Cullman County Sheriff’s department says they see a number of sex abuse cases a year. They work closely with the Child Advocacy Center and the District Attorney’s Office to put people like this behind bars.

“I just ask that if there are any other victims out there, any children, please come forward,” said Gentry.

Both are currently held without bond in the Cullman County Detention Center.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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