COTTONDALE, Fla. — Florida Panhandle authorities say a grandmother’s report led to the arrests of four people on charges of abusing seven children.

According to a News Herald report , the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said the children were left with a baby sitter while their parents were away.

The grandmother told authorities that four people visiting the Cottondale home repeatedly struck the children with a belt.

Deputies said they found “an extreme amount of bruising” and welts on the children. According to a sheriff’s office report, the children told deputies they also had been forced to perform strenuous exercises until after midnight.

The children’s ages weren’t released. Authorities said the children were released to their grandmother’s custody.

Four suspects ages 18 to 20 were charged with child abuse. The sheriff’s office said additional charges were pending.

Information from: The (Panama City, Fla.) News Herald,

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