A woman was arrested at a Seneca home Thursday after police said she abused children in her care.
Seneca police Chief John Covington said investigators were following up on complaints and several months of investigation into a foster home and they had enough information to serve search warrants and collect evidence at a home on South Walnut Street Thursday.
FOX Carolina's photographer at the scene said a woman was taken away in handcuffs.
Covington said the woman taken into custody was Mattie Brooks, 58, and she was charged with two counts of unlawful conduct towards a child and first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
According to the arrest warrants, Brooks is accused of confining a girl to rooms, storage buildings and a dog house for hours and days at a time along with inflicting bodily harm, and causing the child to drink unsafe chemicals.
According to a second warrant, Brooks is accused of burning a boy with an iron object, confining the child to bedrooms, depriving the child of food and water and harming the boy.
Brooks is also accused of sexual battery with a girl who was between 5 and 8 years old at the time of the crime, according to the warrants. One warrant also states Brooks mutilated a child.
A State Law Enforcement Division background check revealed Brooks was convicted of two counts of unlawful neglect of a child previously in South Carolina.
Brooks is being held on $1 million bond and a clause in the bond says she is not allowed to be around anyone under the age of 18.
FOX Carolina obtained warrants and incident reports from a previous conviction of Brooks in 1999 where she was charged with unlawful neglect or abuse by a legal guardian.
According to the incident report, officers were called to an elementary school on Jan. 14, 1999 after DSS notified them of a child with welt marks on his body. The officer said they observed welt marks on the child's legs, right arm. The report said the child was whipped with an electrical cord.
Marilyn Matheus, a spokesperson for the Department of Social Services, released a statement about Brooks on Thursday:
Ms. Brooks is not currently, nor has she ever been licensed by the State of South Carolina as foster parent. The Department of Social Services is committed to protecting children in care. The Agency shares in the community's outrage when any one hurts any child. We will continue to collaborate with law enforcement as appropriate.
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