A 34-year-old Brookfield woman could face prison if convicted of physically injuring her boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter, as alleged in a criminal complaint.
The woman, who is not being named to avoid identifying the victim, was charged Feb. 15 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with physical abuse of a child, a felony punishable by up to three years and six months incarceration.
The complaint says that the mother and father of the victim are divorced, and her father and the defendant now live together.
The girl's mother told police that her daughter was with her father and his girlfriend from Dec. 26 through 28, and that when the child was dropped back off with her, she noticed bruises on both her arms.
Her daughter told her that the defendant had twice grabbed her by the arms, the second also shaking her and causing her pain.
An officer interviewed the girl, who said that she had been playing outside in front of the house, and the defendant had come out and told her she shouldn't be out there. Then, the girl said, the defendant spanked her and sent her to her room.
Moments later, she told the officer, the defendant came into her room, grabbed her by the arms. After awhile, she returned and did it again, this time shaking her and injuring her.
The officer noted that she did see and photograph bruises on the girl's arms, and that she later had the child interviewed at the C.A.R.E. Center, where she confirmed what she had told her mother and police.
The girl's mother told police she had made it clear to the father that she did not want his girlfriend to discipline their daughter while she was in his care.
When police interviewed the defendant, the complaint says, she at first denied that any such thing happened, but later said she did recall grabbing her by the arms once but while the girl was wearing a thick winter coat.
She continued to deny spanking the girl or grabbing her and shaking her in her room.
The defendant will make her initial appearance in court at 8:15 a.m. March 4.