Sanjaya Senanayake, 53, of Depere. Charges filed July 17 include child abuse, false imprisonment and intentional mistreatment of animals.

By Shereen Siewert

A 54-year-old former Wausau-area man is accused of repeatedly beating a 14-year-old female relative, using nail clippers to cut off pieces of skin and using a dog’s shock collar to torture the girl.

Sanjaya Senanayake, now of DePere, faces charges of physical abuse of a child, false imprisonment and animal mistreatment in a case filed July 17 in Marathon County Circuit Court. Senanayake is not in custody but is being summoned into court for an initial appearance set for Aug. 1.

According to court filings an investigation began in February when the girl disclosed the alleged abuse to authorities. During an emotional interview, the girl told investigators that Senanayake repeatedly punched her and drugged her on multiple occasions when Senanayake lived in Schofield. The girl said Senanayake used a nail clipper to cut off pieces of her skin, smashed bottles over her head and knees, burned her with a metal spoon that had been placed in boiling water, and used a dog’s shock collar placed on the highest setting, according to court documents.

Senanayake is also accused of mistreating two Daschunds, rescue dogs that belonged to his fiancee. The girl told police Senanayake abused the dogs by picking them up by the tail, kicking them, shocking them repeatedly with a shock collar, and punching them in the stomach and back areas.

The girl also told police Senanayake drugged her on multiple occasions.

Senanayake faces more than 12 years in prison if he is convicted on all the charges against him.

Investigative journalist, music enthusiast, blogger, animal lover, kayaker, knitter, wife, mother.