Couple accused of locking child in closet, other abuse

A Baton Rouge couple accused of abusing their children, including forcing at least one child to sleep on the floor of a locked closet, has been arrested, according to affidavits of probable cause.

Nicholas Menia, 24, and Zaikiya Duncan, 30, both of 6630 Siegen Lane, Apartment 139, were booked with one count each of cruelty to juveniles by East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies.

According to the affidavits, one of the couple’s children was sent to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center’s Pediatric Burn Unit by school officials for treatment of injuries — including burns to both feet, genitalia and buttocks and bruising to several places on the child’s body.

Medical staff said the burns were consistent with being submerged in hot water, the affidavit says.

Duncan told the deputies she and her husband, Menia, routinely discipline the child by making the child get in a push up position for an hour, which causes the victim’s hand to swell, according to the affidavits.

The child also was regularly forced to sleep on a closet floor with boards placed in front of the door to keep the victim from “escaping” and “stealing food” from the kitchen, the affidavits say.

Two of the couple’s other children were treated for bruising and were put into the custody of the state, the affidavits say.

Duncan told the deputies she and Menia did not physically hurt the victim and they have been investigated several times for physical abuse of the victim and their other children.

Duncan also told deputies that Menia gave the victim a bath before she was injured and the child complained the water was hot, the affidavits say.