Maui mother can't hold back anguish as she testifies against 'Potty Boot Camp' owner

Maui mother can't hold back anguish as she testifies against 'Potty Boot Camp' owner
Karin Engert
Karin Engert
Rebecca Stapp
Rebecca Stapp

WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a full day of testimony on Wednesday for the mother of the boy allegedly abused by the owner of "Potty Boot Camp" on Maui.

Tiffany Penyy Rettich took the stand first thing this morning. She says her son went to Rebecca Stapp's "Potty Boot Camp" back on May 1, 2013.  She said Stapp told her there were three methods to her magic: positive reinforcement, praise, and rewards.

Penyy Rettich said Stapp told her most her kids were potty trained by the end of the first day and no physical force was ever used.

However, after Penyy Rettich picked her son up that day, she said she noticed there were bruises all along his thighs, back, buttocks, and groin area. Penyy Rettich says she confronted Stapp about it, but she says Stapp denied ever using physical abuse.

Penyy Rettich says after she left Stapp's home, she went to the Maui Police Department to file a police report and took her son to the emergency room. Penyy Rettich says she already saw signs of her son not acting like himself.

"After consuming the beverage that he drank at the hospital, he ended up having an accident and he started crying uncontrollably," said Penyy Rettich as tears rolled down her face.

She said her son wasn't just abused physically, but psychological as well.

"There were a couple I tried to give him confidence and let him know he was in a safe environment...there were a few times he would run around naked and he would have potty accidents and he would go hide and cry," Penyy Rettich said through tears.

Although Penyy Rettich was the only one to take the stand on Wednesday, others came out in support of Stapp.

"What she does, she does with love, with kindness, with lot of expertise and care for each individual child, and I can say that because she trained my daughter three years and three months ago," said Karin Engert.

Engert says Stapp potty trained her special needs child after everyone said she couldn't be potty trained. She said the injuries on the 17-month-old boy look like diaper rash.

"All we have is pictures of, to me, looked like having a diaper on a baby, the rubber band cuts into the thigh, that's exactly what that mark is," Engert said.

Stapp is accused of third degree assault. If she is found guilty, she could face up to a $2,000 fine and/or one year in jail.

Prosecutors will be calling more witnesses to the stand, including Stapp's daughter. It is unclear if Stapp will testify.

Trial will continue on March 18, 2015.

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