JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro woman faces a battery charge after police say she beat a six-year-old boy with a belt, leaving bruises all over his body.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, officials with Fox Meadow Elementary School called police after finding "excessive bruising and marks" on the victim's body.
The child told school staff and the SRO that his dad's girlfriend, later identified as 25-year-old Shanekia S. Fowler, had whipped him with a belt, the affidavit stated.
The detective reported the child had "numerous bruises on his back, waist and buttocks area..bruising and red abrasion marks on his right thigh as well as bruising on his left thigh….I also observed bruising on his throat, chest, and numerous bruising on both arms."
While photographing the injuries, the investigator said he heard the child say again that his dad's girlfriend had whipped him with a belt. The detective said the boy told him his dad also whips him, "but only hits him on his butt."
A Department of Human Services agent called the school and spoke with the child, then later interviewed Fowler.
According to the court documents, Fowler said the boy's father had whipped him for getting into trouble at school. She "denied ever whipping the victim."
On Monday, Oct. 2, the detective interviewed both the boy's father and Fowler.
"Both parties stated that they lied to DHS, and that Shanekia Fowler did whip the victim on 9-27-17 in the morning before school" the investigator stated in the affidavit.
The father said he had whipped the child the night before. He then told the investigator Fowler went into the victim's bedroom and began whipping him.
Initially, Fowler denied beating the child that day but "later changed her story," the affidavit said. "She also stated that she does grab the victim by his shirt collar, clinching the collar around the victim's neck while addressing him about discipline issues."
After reviewing the affidavit, Craighead County District Judge David Boling found probable cause Tuesday, Oct. 3, to charge Fowler with second-degree battery, a Class D felony. If convicted, she could be sentenced up to six years in prison and fined up to $10,000.
Boling set her bond at $3,500 and scheduled her to appear in circuit court on Oct. 31.
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