CROWN POINT | A Gary couple were charged Wednesday after police said the mother of two boys tried to cover up her boyfriend's act of burning the children as punishment for the snack food they chose.
Indiana State Police arrested Crystal Kurek, 25, of Gary, the children's mother, and Daniel R. Allison, 24, of Gary, her live-in boyfriend. Kurek was being held Wednesday afternoon on a $10,000 bond, and Allison was being held on a $100,000 bond in the Lake County Jail.
The Lake County prosecutor's office said the boys' father called police after seeing burns on the nose of his 6-year-old and the arm of his 3-year-old following a visit last month to their mother's residence in the 2900 block of Tompkins Street in Gary's Black Oak section.
Police said the boys told them that shortly before they arrived at their mother's residence, Allison instructed them to bring Popsicles. The children said they couldn't find Popsicles and brought marshmallows instead.
Police allege an incensed Allison pulled the boys into a bedroom closet and burned the older boy on the left edge of his nose with a cigarette lighter and the younger boy near his right wrist with a cigarette and then threatened to burn them more if they told anyone.
Police allege the mother heard the boys screaming in pain, found out what was going on in the bedroom and threatened to break up with Allison if he hurt them again.
However, police said the mother did nothing to treat the burns. The boys remained in pain until they were returned to their father, who took them to a hospital, where a physician treated them.
Police said once they questioned the mother, she said the boys already had been injured when they arrived to meet her. She said the older boy must have fallen from his bicycle but didn't know how the younger boy was hurt.
Police said when they confronted the mother with allegations of intentional child abuse, the mother replied the children were "getting their stories mixed up."
Allison is charged with two counts of battery, a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Kurek is charged with assisting a criminal. She faces a maximum penalty of three years if convicted.
No trial date is set in the matter.