A Gainesville couple, including a former clerk at the Hall County courthouse, are accused of making a 7-year-old boy “carry heavy loaded buckets and tires across the yard” while not giving him water, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Crystal Williams, 33, and Jeffrey Lee Williams, 43, both were charged with first-degree child cruelty.
Crystal Williams was a deputy clerk with the Hall County courthouse. Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said she was terminated this week.
Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Ware said Crystal Williams allegedly beat the boy Aug. 16 “with a paddle, causing severe and visible bruising on the child’s back, kidney area and buttocks.”
“On that same date, Jeffrey Lee Williams beat the child repeatedly causing him to fall against a stone/rock fire pit resulting in multiple bruises down his leg and thigh,” Ware wrote in a news release.
Ware said investigators learned Williams had also allegedly beaten the child on June 15, 2017, causing “severe and visible bruising” on the boy’s buttocks and thigh.
Between June 1 and Aug. 17, Jeffrey Williams also allegedly “forced the child to carry heavy loaded buckets and tires across the yard of the residence in hot weather while withholding water from him,” Ware wrote in a news release.
The Division of Family and Children Services sent a referral to the sheriff’s office.
Jeffrey Williams was separately charged with second-degree child cruelty.
Both were booked Thursday, Aug. 23, in to the Hall County Jail. Jeffrey Williams was still in the jail as of 7 p.m. Friday, but Crystal Williams had already bonded out.
When reached for comment by The Times, Crystal Williams said she couldn’t respond to the allegations. She did not give any information regarding an attorney.
“The child is safe, healing from his injuries and in the custody of his biological father at this time,” Ware said.