This booking photo provided by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office shows Machelle Hackney. Authorities say, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Hackney is accused of abusing seven adopted children, including using pepper spray on them and locking them in a closet. Hackney was booked into the Pinal County Jail on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse and five counts each of unlawful imprisonment and child neglect. (Pinal County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Arizona woman used pepper spray on adopted kids, police say

March 20, 2019 - 9:59 am

MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona authorities say a woman has been arrested on allegations of using pepper spray to discipline her seven adopted children and locking them inside a closet for days.

A police report says Machelle Hackney's adopted children had no food, water or access to a bathroom for days while inside the closet at her home in the small city of Maricopa south of Phoenix.

The report says that officers who went to the house last week reported that six of the children appeared malnourished and underweight.

Hackney was being held at the Pinal County Jail on suspicion of two counts of molestation of a child, seven counts of child abuse and five counts of unlawful imprisonment and child neglect.

It was unclear Tuesday whether 48-year-old Hackney had a lawyer.

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