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 July 17, 2023

Arrest made after 5-year-old twins were beaten, thrown in washing machine

A shocking incident has come to light in Louisville, Kentucky, where a man has been charged with the severe physical abuse of his girlfriend's five-year-old twins, with one of the children reportedly found inside a washing machine.

Joshua Robert Morley, a 20-year-old resident of Louisville, is now facing three counts of criminal abuse. The case was brought to the attention of the authorities when the Norton Children's Hospital alerted the Louisville Metro police about the twin children who were admitted to the emergency room bearing signs of severe physical abuse.

Upon examination, it was found that the children had suffered blunt force trauma injuries to their genitals and forehead, WAVE3 reported. One of the children was also found to have injuries to their abdomen, including a serious injury to the liver. Both children were exhibiting symptoms of a condition that is commonly associated with extreme muscle injuries.

Children Narrate Horrifying Experiences of Abuse

During the course of the investigation, the police conducted separate interviews with the children. The accounts they provided were deeply disturbing. They stated that Morley had subjected them to physical violence, punching them multiple times with a closed fist in their privates and forehead. He would hold them by the hair while inflicting this brutal punishment.

One of the children made a chilling revelation to the investigators, stating that he was put inside the laundry machine by Morley. The other child confirmed this account, stating that he had witnessed Morley placing his sibling into the washer and closing the lid. He described the terrifying sound of the machine making noises. The child who was put into the washer recounted the horrifying experience of being trapped in the dark and struggling to breathe.

The alleged abuse took place at the UofL Scholar House Campus. The Scholar House, in response to these allegations, clarified that Morley was not and has never been a part of their program. They strongly emphasized that child abuse should not be tolerated anywhere, and it is especially not tolerated on their campus.

Identifying the Signs of Child Abuse

In the wake of this shocking incident, WAVE News reached out to a pediatrician to discuss the signs to look for in potential cases of child abuse. Norton Children’s Medical Group Pediatrician Heather Felton provided some valuable insights.

According to Felton, one of the mnemonics used in the medical community to identify signs of abuse is called TEN4. "Ten stands for torso, ears and neck with torso being like chest, stomach and back," Felton explained. "And the four stands for abnormal bruising on the torso, ears or neck on children under the age of four."

Felton also highlighted that signs of abuse may not always be physical but can manifest in a child's behavior. She urged that any concerning signs should be reported, as it is in the child's best interests.

"It's probably better to report a concerning finding that is earnest than to go with it being unreported,"

She also pointed out that neglect is one of the biggest forms of child abuse, and Kentucky has been among the states with the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the U.S. in recent years. For more information on how to prevent child abuse, Felton recommended visiting Norton's website.

Legal Proceedings Initiated Against the Accused

Following the charges, Morley was booked into Louisville Metro Corrections and is being held on a $50,000 cash bond.

He was arraigned on Friday and is scheduled to be back in court on July 24th.

The case has sent shockwaves through the community, highlighting the urgent need for vigilance and awareness about child abuse. As the legal proceedings continue, the focus remains on the recovery and well-being of the young victims.


  • Joshua Robert Morley, 20, has been charged with three counts of criminal abuse of a child 12 or under.
  • The victims, five-year-old twins, were found with severe injuries, including blunt force trauma to their genitals and forehead. One child was also found with injuries to the abdomen and a serious liver injury.
  • One of the children reported being put in a washing machine by Morley.
  • The abuse took place at the UofL Scholar House Campus, but Morley was not associated with their program.
  • Norton Children’s Medical Group Pediatrician Heather Felton discussed the signs of child abuse.
  • Morley is currently held on a $50,000 cash bond and is scheduled to be back in court on July 24th.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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