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San Diego County Digest

San Diego

June 14, 1989

A Mira Mesa woman and her son who operated a day-care center were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on child-abuse charges stemming from allegations of bizarre practices involving the children.

After a two-day preliminary hearing, Henri Dyson, 41, was bound over for trial on nine child-abuse and child-endangerment charges and two counts of molesting two young children. Her son, Harold Dyson, 24, was ordered to stand trial of four child-abuse/endangerment charges.

Dr. David Chadwick of Children's Hospital, a pediatrician 30 years, testified Monday that one 17-month-old boy suffered from water intoxication that apparently came from a cold-water enema that reduced the baby's temperature to 90 degrees.

Chadwick said the boy was unconscious when admitted to the hospital Jan. 6. He said water intoxication can be fatal, and he doubted that the massive amount of water was administered through the mouth.

An 8-year-old girl testified Tuesday that Henri Dyson, while nude, touched her "private parts" on one occasion. She said Henri Dyson forced her to sleep nude in a garage and had her use the back yard for a bathroom if necessary. The girl said she was placed in a bathtub with cold water on one occasion and the woman had her take pills that made her sleepy.

"She would whip us with a stick," said the girl. "She took me by my feet and swung me."

On cross-examination by Henri Dyson's attorney, Joel Basta, the girl said she got "whippings" because she was bad and had broken a rule. She then said she only slept nude in the garage one night.

The girl's 13-year-old sister testified that Henri Dyson hit her frequently with a long stick when under her care when she was 10.

"How long did that happen?" asked Deputy Dist. Atty. Harry Elias.

"Every day," the girl replied.

A 12-year-old boy testified that Harold Dyson once tied him up with a rope.

San Diego Municipal Judge Patricia Cowett dismissed one child-abuse charge against Henri Dyson because the witness involved in that count was not available to testify.

Cowett scheduled arraignment and trial-setting for June 27.

Harold Dyson is free on $25,000 bail, and his mother is out on $125,000 bond.

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