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Woman accused of torturing 7-year-old relative

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Hickory Hill woman is facing serious charges after allegedly torturing her own relative.

Le'Niecia Gray, 26, is accused of abusing the child multiple times last year, while she had custody of her.

She would allegedly beat the seven-year-old, tie and starve him or her. A court document says Gray tied up the child in a bedroom overnight and wouldn't let him or her eat or go to the bathroom.

The little child missed school for weeks, and it was soon discovered the seven-year-old was covered with bruises and scratches. The child's grandmother got custody in September after Child Protective Services came in to investigate.

"It's kind of still touchy with me because she (the child) didn't deserve it," the grandmother said.

She says Gray denied starving the child and told CPS the child hurt him or herself by banging into walls and trying to climb out of a broken window.

Gray was arrested on Tuesday, more than a year after the alleged abuse. We asked police why it took so long but haven't gotten an answer.

Gray claims the child suffers from Bipolar Disorder and has a history of hurting him or herself. However, at this point, the child's grandmother says the child is doing a lot better, but continues to see a therapist.

"I mean, she got a long way to go."

Gray was awarded custody of the child years ago after the child's mother went to prison.

As if all of this wasn't bad enough, the child's grandmother says the child often ate food out of the garbage at school.