A 32-year-old woman and her husband are facing charges related to child abuse after reportedly beating their 6-year-old child to the point of bruising and scarring. Authorities report that the couple is mounting a criminal defense in connection with the case. The boy's mother, who was on the run for more than two months, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, according to local law enforcement.
The woman was on the run for weeks after the charges of child abuse surfaced. She fled with her 1-year-old child shortly after school administrators informed the Division of Youth and Family Services about the suspected abuse.
Not only does the boy's mother face charges in connection with the incident, but his 27-year-old stepfather has also been implicated in the crimes. He was arrested just one week after the boy appeared bruised and injured at school. That man has also been charged with child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. He also faces charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.
Both members of the couple are being held on significant bonds, with the man and woman held on $100,000 and $90,000, respectively. The man has posted bail, but the woman remains in custody.
Investigators say the child told authorities that his parents struck him repeatedly with a belt. The boy arrived at school with serious bodily injury, including scars, bruises and lacerations, according to educational professionals. School officials contacted state investigators when the beatings were discovered, and the boy was examined at a hospital.
It is not clear whether the parents in this case intend to plead guilty to the charges before them; a guilty plea could reduce the amount of time that both adults spend in jail.
The goal of government officials and legal professionals is generally to reunite families in a functional and healthy fashion, which is more likely to happen if both parents show a strong effort to move closer to a possible reconciliation.
Source: The Jersey Journal, "Jersey City couple charged with vicious beating of woman's 6-year-old son," Michaelangelo Conte, Dec. 6, 2012.