JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Jackson county couple were arrested on charges the man abused his girlfriend's children and she allowed it to happen.
37-year-old Shawn Hatfield was charged with 23 counts of aggravated child abuse.
His girlfriend, 33-year-old Christina Silvers, was charged with three counts of allowing the abuse to happen in relation to her three kids.
Court records maintain the abuse went on for more than a year. Meanwhile, Hatfield's family doesn't believe the allegations.
Both Hatfield and Silvers were in court Wednesday afternoon for an initial appearance on the charges. The charges relate to three of Silver's children ages 5, 9, and 13.
Court affidavits claimed the abuse at their Rosalie home on County Road 83 involved kicking in the groin, hitting in the face, beating with a cutting board, even leaving the children outside during a thunderstorm and outside on hot days with only a cup of water.
Sheriff's officials said there were physical signs of abuse, but for Hatfield's family, they find that hard to believe.
"We want everybody to know the truth that Shawn is not a child abuser," said his niece, Stormy Hatfield. "That's what we want and Christy is not either. Christy is a good woman and it just hurts to know that they're making him seem like he's a murderer or something and he's not. He has not done anything."
Bond for Hatfield was set at just over $346-thousand. Silver's bond was set at just over $46-thousand.