When a boy was brought to the emergency treatment "because of a fall" caused by "roughhousing with his brothers," the attending physician became suspicious. The boy had a severely bruised lip, but the physician reported that "other signs were missing from an injury that was caused by a fall."
For example, there was no injury to the boy's chin or nose, "which would have hit the concrete also during a normal fall." The physician was also alarmed by the bruising he found around the boy's eye.
Because physicians are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect, the physician contacted local law enforcement. An investigation ensued, and as a result, police arrested the boy's stepmother.
The woman was tried before a jury, which found the woman guilty of striking her stepson "on the lip with a metal spoon and on the shoulders and face with a tent pole." The jury also found the woman guilty of hitting the boy's younger brother on the tooth with a metal spoon, as well as "holding a lighter under his tongue for lying and hitting his genitals with a belt for wetting the bed."
The 25-year-old woman has not been sentenced yet. She faces a possible sentence ranging from five years to life in prison. Patrick Johnston, "Woody found guilty on 16 counts of child abuse," timesrecordnews.com (Sept. 7, 2017).