January 22, 2021

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San Leandro woman charged with torturing 9-year-old son

SAN LEANDRO — A woman has been ordered to stand trial on charges that she tortured her 9-year-old son, allegedly keeping the boy barricaded inside a bathroom where local police found him suffering from numerous serious injuries in January court records show.

Shawanda Black, 25, is due in court Tuesday where she is expected to plead not guilty to charges of torture, mayhem, and false imprisonment by violence. She was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing in September, and has been incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since her arrest 10 months ago, court records show.

A doctor who examined the boy’s injuries — among them, a broken back, multiple broken ribs, an injury to his liver and open wounds all over his body — noted they were “particularly cruel and brutal” and the result of physical abuse, police have alleged in court records. The boy was discovered “cowering” inside the bathroom where he was locked away, home alone, in a San Leandro apartment, according to authorities.

Black was arrested after the boy’s father reported to police in January he suspected abuse and that she’d been refusing to participate in custody exchanges since Christmas 2019. When police arrived at Black’s apartment, they discovered the bathroom was barricaded from the outside with a wooden chair. Inside they found the boy lying on the floor, authorities said.

The boy claimed the injuries were from a bicycling accident, which contradicted the doctor’s subsequent findings, police said. Black arrived at the home a short time later and was arrested. Police said she “actively resisted” officers and arrested her on suspicion of resisting arrest but county prosecutors opted not to charge her, according to court records.

During a search of the home, police allegedly discovered children’s clothing “covered in blood.” At the onset of the investigation, detectives became aware of “numerous documented complaints, dating back to 2015, alleging Black committed physical and emotional abuse against the victim,” made through Child Protective Services but said it was unclear what became of the reports.

Black remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, court records show. In October, she was arrested inside the jail for allegedly resisting a deputy, but the circumstances surrounding that incident are unclear.

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