St. Paul teens face torture charges after 2 children had cigarette burns, extensive bruising

Disclaimer the details in this story are disturbing.

Two 19-year-olds face felony charges of child torture in what a doctor described as the worst case of abuse he’s seen in decades, a set of charges detail. 

Diego Ramon Calzada-Russette, 19, and Jamie Rae Wilson, 19, were each charged with two counts of child torture for their alleged involvement in the extensive injuries found on a 2-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl, according to court documents. 

On Sept. 22, paramedics responded to a call for a 2-year-old boy who had fallen down the stairs on the 400 block of Hershel Street in St. Paul.

The boy was taken to the hospital, where a medical team found bruises all over his body and what appeared to be cigarette burns. Police were called to investigate the case based on the findings, according to the complaint. 

The child was transported to Gillette Children's Hospital's pediatric intensive care unit. He was diagnosed with brain bleeds, both old and new, along with a fractured skull, according to court documents.

Police say Wilson and her boyfriend Calzada-Russette were watching the child when the incident occurred. The complaint states Wilson told police they were on the 2nd-floor deck when the boy had fallen halfway down the stairs. 

Wilson said she called 911 and went to the hospital with medics, while Calzada-Russette stayed behind to watch the other children before heading into work. 

According to Wilson, she had been watching the injured child for a few days at the request of the child's mother. Wilson initially claimed the child already had various injuries and markings on his body before he was in her care. However, police say she later alleged her boyfriend was responsible for them. 

Police say they later learned that a 5-year-old girl was also dropped off with the 2-year-old to be watched by Wilson, but Wilson never mentioned the second child. It's unclear how or if Wilson is related to the children. 

The girl was taken to Children’s Hospital Thursday and had "injuries on nearly every part of her body," the complaint reads. Police say there was bruising all over her body, cigarette burns and she suffered damage to some international organs.

According to court documents, investigators interviewed Calzada-Russette, who initially denied the abuse allegations but then allegedly told police he hurt the children. He claimed he was not the one who burned them but said Wilson was responsible for that. 

"A doctor at MCRC told the investigator that this is the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years," the complaint reads. 

Calzada-Russette was booked into Ramsey County Jail Thursday afternoon. He is set to make his first court appearance Monday morning.

A judge issued a warrant for Wilson on Friday.