Woman sentenced to probation for child punishment

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One of two Austin women accused of making a 9-year-old hold jugs of milk in the air for hours and beating the child with a belt or stick was sentenced Monday in Mower County Court.

Shavon Melisa Blake, 29, was convicted of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child and sentenced to one year of supervised probation and fined $300. She must also participate with an in-home family facilitator. A charge for misdemeanor domestic assault was dismissed.

Jacqueline Glenda Richardson, 49, still faces two counts of malicious punishment of a child with less than substantial bodily harm. Richardson previously pleaded not guilty.

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According to the court complaint, a local teacher told authorities the student was being abused at home. Two parents thought the child was being abused, as well.

The court complaint alleges Blake punched the child in the face and in the back several times, according to the victim. The police report states the child told police about frequently having to carry milk jugs around the house, from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. or 1 a.m., and the jug was sometimes filled with rotten milk or pop can tops. At times, the child reportedly would kneel on the floor and keep two milk jugs in the air. The victim told police it hurt to hold the jugs for so long and the child would lose feeling in the arms.

The child mentioned being struck with a belt, spoons, or a stick by Blake, Richardson or Richardson’s boyfriend as punishment. Police photographed a bruise on the victim’s leg, which the victim said was from being hit.

Police interviewed the child’s 8-year-old relative, who told police he or she also had to carry milk jugs at times as punishment. The 8-year-old told police Richardson struck with a stick if the jugs were dropped, and that being punished with the stick was “easier than the bottles,” according to the police report.

Police went to Blake’s home and arrested her on Sept. 7. Blake reportedly told police the children were punished by carrying the milk jugs whenever they were at Richardson’s home, and injuries were from bug bites and falling down.

Richardson allegedly told police they didn’t want to beat the children, so they used the bottles and jugs. Both Richardson and Blake told police the children held the containers for about 30 minutes, but the child’s grandmother told police the children held the containers for two hours, according to the report. Richardson told police both children lied.

— Trey Mewes contributed to this report.