Couple accused of pouring liquid dish soap in children's mouths

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville couple are charged with child abuse after disciplining their children by pouring liquid dish soap in their mouths, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Timothy Ward, 30, and Jessica Prather, 32, were arrested Tuesday.

A witness told police that she saw Ward and Prather abusing the children verbally on several occasions and dragging them by the arms across the floor. According to a police report, the couple also held the children down while hitting them with flip-flops and hair brushes.

The couple's son got bar soap in his mouth one time, but he had an allergic reaction. The next time, liquid dish soap was used and with another child too.

Ward and Prather admitted to police they used the dish soap as discipline, not knowing if the ingredients might be harmful.

Ward and Prather were booked into the Duval County Jail on $20,000 bond each. Ward posted bail and was released Wednesday morning.

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