Court Documents: Dad and stepmom punished 4-year-old son by burning him in a hot shower

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Suffolk, Va. - A four-year-old little boy confides in his babysitter, telling her that his parents forced him into a scalding hot shower as a punishment for misbehaving, according to court documents.

"He said that his parents punished him for saying it and told him to get in the hot shower. So I asked him, was it an accident? And he said, no he knew it was hot. They told me to get in it," Tosha Tucker, the child's babysitter, told NewsChannel 3 today.

Now, his dad and step-mother, Bernard and Vallerie Esannason, are behind bars. Both are sailors.

Tucker had been watching the boy and his sister for about a month. Last December, Vallerlie told Tucker that the boy was burned while his father was adjusting the temperature in the shower.

Tucker says she didn't believe it.

"It looked deliberate. It didn`t look like an accident at all," she said.

Court documents show the boy told police his "mommy and daddy held him down in the shower and sprayed hot water on him for four minutes because he's four-years-old."

Tucker says the burns were all over the boy's body, and the worst was his arm.

"It was so bad that it leaked through his shirt," she said.

That's when Tucker took the boy to the hospital, and court documents say doctors performed surgery to save the boy's arm.

"It angers me that any parent would do that to any child especially a mom or a dad would do it to their child. It`s hard to grasp," she said.

NewsChannel 3 went to the Esannoson's neighborhood, where neighbors told us they've called police on the family before.

"I would hear the screaming of a little boy. You definitely could hear him in just horrible pain. He`d scream horrible screams and he would stop, and maybe ten minutes later it would go on again this bloody scream like he`s being tortured, Kelly Altic, who lives next door, said.

The two are facing a number of charges, including cruelty and injuries to children.


  • J. Watkins

    Why? Jesus says do not harm children. The parents are wrong and my hearts hurts just thinking about the pain that child had to bare. I am extremely upset, crying for these abused children. I wish and pray that the parents not only go to jail but that they feel pain like the child did.

  • keesha lewis

    Ever since Amanda Berry or others, when children go
    missing. They plead for neighbors to watch, listen and speak up. Please,who will follow up on our claims relentlessly? I don’t want to assume but if I read correctly, the child’s babysitter saved him, not the neighbor’s call(s).

  • Delphine Simmons

    I’m very proud of my daughter Tosha Simmons Tucker. I can say her father and myself raise her well. She love kids. She will always be bless because she did the right thing. I love her very much.

  • Tosha Tucker

    Yes it was I (the daycare provider) who made the call to CPS and I took the child to the emergency room

  • Jenna M.

    You definitely did the right thing! You probably saved that little boy’s life. I hope he can heal from this and be placed with a caring family that will treat him with nothing but love and have the happy life he deserves!

  • Sadden Reader

    This just breaks my heart. Tosha, you did a great job. You were placed in that baby’s life for a reason, which was to save him from the cruelty of his Father and step-mother. It is sad because I know his Father and would have never known he was capable of such horrendous things. This is so sad because all 4 of their children are now going to have to be without their parents. I pray this baby has a speedy recovery mentally and physically and that his biological mother’s heart is at peace so that she can be there for her son.

  • Kim T

    May God Bless you for being the one who saved this little boy. It’s so sad that parents would do this to a child.

  • milwife

    Praises to Ms. Tucker’s parents and of course Ms. Tucker.. Hopefully a devoted family member from afar will claim these children and give them the love and attention they deserve. Punishment for a 4 yr old is standing in the corner. It takes a lot of courage to listen to a child and taking them for treatment.

  • MartyS

    God bless you, Tosha, for your love and compassion, for taking action to save this precious child. It really concerns me that these children weren’t removed from this abusive situation as a result of the earlier calls by neighbors.

  • Gail Kent

    Why didn’t the police do something when the neighbor called? There was a neighbor who DID call – she said it sounded like the child was being tortured, and that she had called police a number of times.

  • Navy Vet

    Absolutely despicable. I don’t understand how anyone can do such things to a child. I am acquainted with the step-mother as I once served with her in the Navy and I am completely dumbfounded to learn that she is capable of this inhumane behavior. Goes to show that outward appearances are not always accurate. Abusers are often very good at hiding their vile behavior from outsiders. Bless the woman that saved this little boy from the horror he seems to have been living in. Hope that he and his siblings are placed in a loving home.

  • Randall

    Thank you Tosha Tucker for looking after this child. We always here the horror stories without hearing about the Hero. And today your the childs Hero and I greatly thank your for being a caring person. I SALUTE You!!

  • Trina Jones

    I can’t believe the story that I read here these past couple of days about the horror to this 4 year old. That child was innocent and if you are a parent who doesn’t know how to discipline your child then you should take some parenting classes or give the child to someone who knows how to care for them. These children need to be thought of during the coming years to ensure that they do not continue this behavior and to ensure that their mental state is in tact. I am hurt and disgusted at the same time to have 2 parents that agreed on this type of discipline for a 4 year old. They should be put in hot scalding water and made to take a bath and what history does the Navy have on the 2 of their characters? I hate that they even mentioned the Navy in the News because I wouldn’t have them represent the Navy at all. I feel like something should have been done f their were multiple calls made from the neighbors in regards to hearing the child in pain. Sometimes we react to late but thanks to this young lady she saved a child/ren. What was different about the 4 year old that they disciplined him that way. Were the other children also disciplined in that manner? Something to think about…

    • Nette

      No, the other children they had together were not treated that way. They actually were good parents to them, wanted for nothing and greatly loved. This baby was a result of an affair obviously because the sister they are speaking of is around the same age as he was and they’re oldest children are teens/pre-teens. He was a dirt bag with anger issues. He denied his marriage and said he was divorced and only claimed the daughters he had. We knew this man for years and he never once mentioned having a son. He has told me several times that I need to discipline my children more and thank God I have better sense than to take his advice. I am appalled at both of their behavior and hope they get the maximum sentence plus some.

  • Destiny

    Thank you Ms. Tucker for what you did. You just saved a young boy’s life from two cruel ‘things’ (they don’t deserve to called people). It’s people like those things that horribly abuse children and show no remorse for their actions that make kids not trust adults. At least this child has an adult he can trust. And since these things serve our country as sailors, do they think they deserve a pass for treating their son like this? They should be dishonorably discharged for this and have the same thing they did to the boy be done to them.

  • Ricy

    When I read this I became immediately angered!. So when they go to jail I’m thinking someone will give them a HOT WATER SHOWER! Maybe this will wash this filthy parenting away. I hope this little boy has a speedy, whole, and healthy recovery. I am GLAD that he had a desire to live and GOD helped him release this TORTURE to someone that could hear and take action on his behalf. This GARBAGE we are seeing as his parents are terrorist. And when they are locked up for a VERY LONG TIME, they should be terrorized just like they did that PRECIOUS little boy. HELD in the SHOWER IN HOT WATER and BATHE.

  • LJC

    why why why did no one report this sooner?? If a neighbor heard something why didn’t he or she say something???

  • An ex friend sick to her stomach!

    I know the child’s father as well and the above person Nette was right. He only mentioned the 3 girls, he never said he even had a little boy however did admit that they both had affairs. He did claim however that he was divorced, then said he was separated for a year in the process of divorce. He may have some nasty ways at times and very deceitful but I never would have thought that he could do something like this to a child. His child even, as if denying him wasn’t bad enough! Im thankful that even though he was in my life he never was around my kid! His girls we’re with his mom at one point I really hope she takes them back. I pray that his son will be ok and be able to still have a good life despite of this horrific pain these freaking demon people has caused him! Smh you really never know a person.

  • Catrice Bethea

    Trust me they will get it back ten times more,,for what they did ….this is sad…thank God for the babysitter

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