Woman gets 30 years for torturing girl

By Sara Bruestle | Dec 05, 2012

A judge sentenced a Mukilteo woman to 30 years in prison on Nov. 29 for beating, burning and starving a 10-year-old girl.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes described the abuse of the girl as “horrendous and gratuitous.” She was beaten with whips, burned with cigarettes and denied food. She weighed 51 pounds when she was rescued last year.

A jury convicted Mary Mazalic, 35, of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal mistreatment of her boyfriend’s 10-year-old sister, as well as tampering of a witness.

Downes said Mazalic was deliberately cruel and that the torture she put the child through is “stark proof of how low humans can sink,” according to court papers.

The 30-year sentence – more than twice the standard range for the crimes – was sought by Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Paul.

Jurors had concluded that the crimes were deliberately cruel, the victim was particularly vulnerable, and that Mazalic had abused her position of trust. Those special verdicts allowed the state to seek a sentence above the standard range.

Mukilteo Detective Lance Smith, who worked on the case, said he is pleased with the judge’s order.

“The little girl is going to have to live with scars on her body as a reminder of the darkest days of her life,” he said. “So for [Mazalic] to have to spend 30 years in prison thinking about the things she did is very justified.”

The girl is the adopted sister of Mazalic’s boyfriend, Derron Alexis, 43, who also faces trial. Alexis is charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment. He is accused of beating the girl and withholding food and medical attention.

The girl was so severely malnourished when she was removed from the couple’s home that she weighed 51 pounds, or two-thirds of the weight of a healthy child her age. She was also covered in bruises, scars and wounds.

Police took her from the home last year after two store clerks called Child Protective Services over their concerns for the girl. She spent two weeks recovering at Providence hospital in Everett.

Doctors said the girl had almost no body fat, and that her body had started to metabolize her muscles for energy.

In addition to “severe malnutrition,” doctors reported the girl had a kidney infection.

Though she initially denied being mistreated, the child later told investigators of the “hundreds of times” she was neglected and abused.

The girl said Mazalic beat her with extension cords, a belt and a wire hanger, Paul wrote. She said Mazalic made her take off her clothes so that she was beaten on her bare skin, and gagged her with a ball or sock to muffle her screams.

She also told investigators that she was often forced to go without eating for days or eat only one meal a day, court papers said. Mazalic would also taunt her by eating in front of her.

The girl was living with her adoptive parents in New York, but in 2010 was sent to live in Mukilteo with her adoptive brother and Mazalic.

The child, now 11, is living with foster parents.

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