Aiken County, SC – An Aiken man has been arrested and is facing a Cruelty to Children charge stemming from a February incident.
According to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office incident report, 27-year-old Travis Ray Whitten, 27 has been charged after making his girlfriend’s 12-year-old cousin strip naked before beating him on Friday, February 13th at 625 Gooseneck Road, in Aiken. Joanie Stone, Whitten’s girlfriend, is the child’s legal guardian.
The warrant issued for his arrest in Feburary accused Whitten of torturing the child and causing “unnecessary pain and suffering”.
The incident report states that Whitten was upset that the child got kicked off the bus. While the boy was sleeping, he told officials he was awakened by Whitten when “he snatched him up by the neck”. Whitten then started yelling at the boy for getting kicked off the bus and Whitten reportedly told him to “get in the tub butt naked so he can beat his ass”. Whitten then beat the boy against a wall, stopped for a moment, then beat him against the bed. Whitten then reportedly told the boy to put his clothes back on and then continued the beating. When the victim got his clothes back on, Whitten then “called him a baby, punched the victim, and stepped on his head”, according to the report..
The report goes on to say Whitten “kept yelling at him and punching him” until he noticed the boy’s mother pull up in the driveway for a visit. The boy then said Whitten “made him act like everything was fine and nothing happened” for his mother.
Stone was not at home at the time of the incident, according to the report. The boy’s sister also lives with them, but the boy did not know if his sister knew about the incident.
The sister told officials she was asleep during the incident but she believes she heard Whitten whip the boy 5 times with a belt. The children’s mother, Kelly Chubbuck, told a deputy she knew the children got “whoopins” but she did know how bad they were until the boy told her his butt felt like a “little bit of peanut butter with a lot of jelly on it”.
A South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) worker took custody of the boy and his sister. the beating came to light when a DSS worker spoke to the boy at his school.
Whitten was arrested on Tuesday, July 7th when he surrendered. He was not arrested when the warrant was issued because deputies could not find him, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Captain Eric Abdullah.
Whitten was charged with Creulty To Children (Torture, Deprivation).