Who is Gretta Feil? Indiana grandma who scalded face and genitals of girl, 4, for wetting couch gets 12 years

Feil's shower ran at 137 degrees Fahrenheit after being on its highest setting, and the affidavit said the child emerged from the shower with her face 'covered in burns'


                            Who is Gretta Feil? Indiana grandma who scalded face and genitals of girl, 4, for wetting couch gets 12 years
Gretta Feil (Boone County Sheriff's Office)

BOONE COUNTY, INDIANA: An Indiana grandmother has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after she "punished" her four-year-old granddaughter by scalding her scalp, face and genitals under hot-water shower as she wetted the couch. The grandmother, Gretta Feil, who hails from Boone County, was sentenced on Tuesday, October 13, after she had pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery in connection with the incident that had occurred in April 2020.

Feil was arrested after the Indiana Division of Child Services found that her granddaughter had third-degree burns which required surgery on her face, scalp and genitals. The child had been staying with her grandmother in Lebanon since April 2 after Feil had picked her and her brother up from her parents' home in Alabama. According to a probable cause affidavit which was obtained by Oxygen, Feil had said that she would bring back the children for Easter on April 12 but later claimed that Indiana had closed state lines due to a coronavirus lockdown with the parents initially believing the lie.

After the children arrived at Feil's home, she had started to get increasingly aggressive towards her granddaughter as per a press statement by the Boone County Prosecutor’s office. The affidavit revealed that family members had witnessed Feil beating the child with her hands and also with a wooden backscratcher. Neighbors had also called the police on Feil many times after hearing her shout at the child. Feil had also been accused of punishing the child by holding her under the shower. The child hated showers. On one occasion, Feil's niece recalled how Feil had forced the child's face directly into the spray and every time the child would look down or move to breathe, she would be beaten with the backscratcher.

Investigators had found that Feil's shower was very hot and ran at 137 degrees Fahrenheit after being on its highest setting. The affidavit revealed that one day the child emerged from the shower with her face "covered in burns". When the authorities had arrived for a wellness check after family members saw the child's injuries. Officers also noticed how she had trouble walking when she spoke to them and the child told them that her genitals hurt. The child was seen visibly shaking and hurt. She was then rushed to a hospital and was found to have third-degree burns on her body parts. The affidavit also stated that her brother seemed to have no injuries. On April 24, Feil was arrested and charged with two counts of battery causing serious permanent disfigurement, three counts of child domestic battery causing serious bodily injury and six counts of neglecting a dependent, court records revealed.

In September, Feil accepted a plea deal and had pleaded guilty to two counts of felony aggravated battery, as per a press release. The affidavit added how the child had to receive skin grafts, but a nurse practitioner said that she will likely have "permanent scarring/disfigurement". Special Victim’s Prosecutor Heidi Jennings said, "This child suffered horrific abuse. Her physical scars are healing, and we hope that this sentence today helps the healing process for her emotional scars."

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