Woman pleads guilty to child abuse
Published 9:56 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017
A woman arrested last year after her son told his school principal about being abused accepted a plea agreement on Tuesday in Mower County District Court.
Nyakang Jashua Lual, 32, of Austin pleaded guilty to felony domestic assault. Three additional charges of felony domestic assault will be dropped at sentencing. Lual initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in June 2016.
According to the court report, an Austin police detective received a child abuse report from Mower County Human Services on March 3, 2016. The report stated that a 10-year-old boy told his school principal his mother, Lual, “beats” and “chokes” him. The boy had three brothers living at home with him.
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The children were placed on a 72-hour welfare hold. The detective and a social worker interviewed the 10-year-old, who told them he was very afraid to go home because Lual beat him and two of his brothers. He said she had a bad temper and would beat them if they did something wrong. He said Lual used her hands as well as objects like metal hangers and a television cord to hit them.
The 10-year-old told them Lual once beat his older brother, an 11-year-old, with a lamp, which broke and cut the child above his right eye, resulting in stitches. He then showed the detective scars on his body and said he was afraid Lual would find out he told and would kill him and his brothers, which she had threatened to do in the past.
They then interviewed the 11-year-old, who said he did not like to talk about the abuse and he was afraid Lual would get mad at him. He also told them Lual used household objects to beat them. He showed the detective scars on his body, including the scar over his right eye. He said Lual told him to lie to the doctors about how the injury occurred. He also had a scar on his neck from where Lual bit him.
Both boys said Lual beat them the most, but also sometimes beat their 7-year-old brother.
The detective and social worker then interviewed Lual at the Mower County Law Enforcement Center. She denied hitting her children and said the oldest was a “liar” who had been negatively influencing his younger brother. She said she did not hit her oldest with a lamp, saying the cut over his eye was from him running into a table. She said that her 7-year-old son was the only “honest” one and that he would tell them the truth.
The detective met with the 7-year-old, who said Lual hit him and his brothers with wire hangers, lamps, wires and shoes. He said he thought his older brother got the scar near his eye from Lual hitting him with the metal part of a belt. He also said he was afraid of Lual.
The children were taken to the Family Advocacy Center in Rochester. Their injuries were photographed and documented. The detective obtained a copy of the oldest child’s medical records, which showed the oldest was treated for a cut above his right eye on Oct. 22, 2014, at Mayo Clinic Health System – Austin. The cause was listed as hitting his face on a cupboard.
Lual has previous convictions fifth-degree assault and domestic assault.
She will be sentenced on Jan. 11.