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Fayetteville Mother Charged with 84 Counts of Child Abuse

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FAYETTEVILLE — Beaten, starved, handcuffed and burned. Police say a 17-year old boy lived in terror for years.

Police say it is one of the worst cases they've ever seen. Now, Bonnie Jackson, the boy's mother, faces 84 counts of child abuse.

One month ago, police found the teenager wandering along Interstate 95. Investigators say he tolerated beatings for years and left home when he just could not take it anymore.

Monday, Jackson stood expressionless in front of a Cumberland County magistrate while she was read all 84 child abuse charges she is facing.

Police say Jackson began violently beating her son when he was just 11 years old.

"We believe he was actually restrained and hung in the closet and that's where he was staying and sleeping, in the closet," says Sgt. Tim Hayworth of the Fayetteville Police Department.

Jackson is accused of using handcuffs to confine her son to his bed. Investigators say Jackson used other objects as weapons against her son, including a blow dryer to inflict second and third degree burns and an extension cord and wooden board to cause permanent scars.

Investigators say the 17-year-old didn't have any wounds on his hands or face, so he was able to hide the abuse.

In addition to the physical scars, police believe the teen will have permanent emotional scars. The teenager is recovering in a foster home.

"At this point he's doing fine," says Hayworth. "We've had him in here for some interviews; we've talked to him several times. He's doing real well. He's cooperating real well."

Investigators found the items they say Jackson used to beat and confine her son while serving a search warrant at her home.

Jackson originally faced three charges and was being held on a $16,000 bond. With the new charges, her bond is now set at $58,000.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
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