Cullman Co. Sheriff: “This is one of the worst child sexual abuse cases I have seen in my career”

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CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Deputies say 24-year-old Ambert Maritta Cartwright and 23-year-old Zachary Levi Burns are in the Cullman County Detention Center with no bond. Both are charged with several counts of sexual abuse of two minor children.

Zachary Levi Burns, 23 of Cullman (photo from Cullman County Sheriff's Office)

Zachary Levi Burns, 23 of Cullman (photo from Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

Amber Maritta Cartwright, 24 of Crane Hill (photo from Cullman County Sheriff's Office)

Amber Maritta Cartwright, 24 of Crane Hill (photo from Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

Investigators say the two victims are both under the age of 12. The children reported the sexual abuse to a relative who alerted authorities.

“It’s safe to say this is one of the worst child sexual abuse cases I have seen in my career,” said Sheriff Matt Gentry. “These children are very brave for coming forward to help us put these predators behind bars. There is no punishment severe enough for these two that fits this crime.”

The Sheriff’s Office said Cartwright and Burns would engage in sexual acts with one another and force the children to participate in the acts with them as well. No more details were released due to the graphic nature of the crimes.

Both Cartwright and Burns are charged with sodomy, two counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes.