Aiyana Gauvin

Aiyana Gauvin

Girl Who Died Was Bound, Gagged

Father, Stepmother Arrested On Neglect Charges

POSTED: 9:35 pm EST March 17, 2005

A Lafayette woman told police she left her stepdaughter gagged and bound at the wrists in a bedroom the night before the 4-year-old girl was found dead, according to a court document filed Thursday.

The stepmother, Michelle Gauvin, 33, and Aiyana's father, Christian Gauvin, 33, were arrested Wednesday on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent causing death.Information on the cause of death wasn't released Thursday.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the girl's body had bruises, scrapes and cuts. Michelle Gauvin allegedly told police that she put tape over the child's mouth Tuesday night, and that the girl's wrists were bound.The woman told police that she left the child bound and gagged in the girl's bedroom that night, according to the affidavit.Michelle Gauvin said that on Wednesday morning, she saw the girl lying on her stomach, still bound and gagged, according to the affidavit.Police said Michelle Gauvin told them that Aiyana and two other children, aged 12 and 9, were left at the home Wednesday morning while she took Christian Gauvin to work.

When she returned, she realized something was wrong with Aiyana and called 911, the affidavit said.According to the affidavit, Michelle Gauvin said that she occasionally hit the child with a broken cutting board.Christian Gauvin told police that he knew that his wife had on occasion hit the girl, bound her and placed a gag over her mouth, according to the affidavit.The man said he didn't seek medical treatment for the injuries Aiyana would receive because he feared he would be arrested on abuse accusations, the document said.

Christian and Michelle Gauvin

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This stepmonster, Michelle Gauvin, disiplined her young stepdaughter Aiyana Gauvin to death in March 2005. She admitted tying Aiyana up, using duct tape over her mouth, and beating her with a broken cutting board as punishment for her misbehavior. This week, the Court of Appeals rejected the claim that Indiana’s definition of torture should not apply to parents disciplining their children, even if the disciplinary measures seem extreme.

The opinion, written by Chief Justice Randall Shepard, said, "Michelle submitted Aiyana to abuse so far in excess of its claimed purpose that her actions surely constituted torture." It also listed several actions that amounted to torture, including weeks of beatings leading up to the girl’s death, force-feeding her an “unpalatable blend of foods, causing Aiyana to vomit,” and photographing her in different states of bondage and forcing her to view the images.

Michelle’s husband, Christian Gauvin, who was the girl’s biological father, was convicted of neglect of a dependent in the case, and was sentenced to the maximum 50 years in prison.

Aiyana's mother, who did not have custody of her 4-year old daughter, tried numerous times to get the authorities to help her daughter, whom she suspected of being abused.


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