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Torture charge added in child abuse case

Published On: Feb 11 2014 11:08:14 PM CST
OROVILLE, Calif. -

An Oroville man was arrested Friday for abusing an 8-year-old boy.

A torture charge has been added by the District Attorney's office.

32-year-old David Barber could now face life in prison.

Deputies said Barber repeatedly punched and used a belt on the boy.

Investigators said the boy had two severe black eyes, and bruises on his buttocks, back and chest. Barber also allegedly hit the boy in his genitals.

Barber pleaded not guilty to all three charges. He was free at the time of the incident while awaiting sentencing for a previous case of elder abuse.

That sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday morning, but it didn't happen. The victim in the elder abuse case is 65-year-old Dale Grismore.

Grismore suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Grismore is bound to a wheel chair and has difficulty speaking.

Last May, he was under the care of Barber. Grismore found Barber on a Craigslist ad, and offered him a job as his caretaker.

“He seemed caring,” said Grismore.

Grismore's victim impact statement said Barber started adding “valium inside of his feeding tube, 8 to 10 times within a two week period.”

He also discovered that Barber maxed out two of his credit cards and spent $2,760 on his bill in five days.

“He drained me financially,” said Grismore.

Grismore showed a very graphic text conversation to the court between himself and Barber.

One text stating: "Wanna bet hahaha I’m not getting locked up [expletive]. You are stupid as expletive and took a deal from the DA."

“I was livid,” said Grismore.

Barber was not sentenced Tuesday, because of the pending torture and child abuse case against the child.

“My heart goes out to the 8-year-old boy,” said Grismore.

Barber was remanded without bail for the elder abuse case and will be sentenced on February 26. As for the case involving the child, Barber’s preliminary hearing will be held on the same day.