Sacto 9-1-1
July 19, 2013
Sacramento jury convicts step-mother of torturing 12-year-old girl

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Duewa Abeana Lee of torture and 9 other felony counts for the physical abuse she inflicted on her step-daughter for a period of two months.

Lee, 37, is likely to be sentenced to at least 17 years to life in prison when Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan imposes the term on her on Aug. 29.

The girl, whose name is being withheld because she is a child abuse victim, testified at Lee's trial that the defendant whipped her with an electrical cord, burned her with an iron and smacked her on the palms and buttocks with a metal spatula that she had heated up, and that she also was forced to endure lengthy periods of standing in a stress position.

Authorities said the abuse began when the girl's father was arrested for robbery in late July 2011 and continued until she broke away from Lee at a state Department of Motor Vehicles office in Sacramento on Sept. 30, 2011.

Besides the torture charge, Lee was convicted on two counts of mayhem, six counts of child abuse resulting in great bodily injury, two counts of child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury, and a misdemeanor battery charge.

Joell Reed, the mother of the girl's foster mother who has cared for her since she was removed from Lee's custody, said the verdict "gives her a feeling of safety."

"In the long run, she'll never have to run into her," Reed said. "That's how she wants that -- cut off from her."

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