A teacher’s aide with the Duval County Public School system has been arrested on two counts of child abuse. According to an article on Jacksonville.com, the woman was arrested in Jacksonville on Mother’s Day for the two felony charges. In the arrest and booking report, police say they were called out to a “domestic dispute” and spoke with the alleged victim’s, the aide’s children. They told police that the woman became angry because all she got for Mother’s Day was a card. They claim the woman began to throw things around the room and hit the child with a metal broom multiple times on the arms and legs. The children also claim the woman punched one in the mouth and pulled her hair. Police said they observed welt marks on the child, along with a swollen lip and bruises. The evidence technician was called to the scene and photographed the alleged injuries.
In Florida, there are different levels of child abuse. Child abuse, in Jacksonville and all over the state, is defined as intentionally inflicting physical or mental injury on a child, committing an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury on a child or actively encouraging another to commit an act that could result in the child being harmed. While we all know what physical injury is, mental injury is defined by Florida statute. It is injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child evidenced by substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function normally. “Basic” child abuse is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison if the State can show that great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement is caused by the abuse. Aggravated child abuse is more serious in the eyes of Florida law and is a first degree felony. Aggravated child abuse is when a person commits an aggravated battery on a child, willfully tortures, maliciously punishes or willfully cages a child or knowingly commits child abuse causing great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement. If convicted of this aggravated form, the maximum a defendant is facing is thirty years in prison.
In each of the aide’s child abuse charges, the judge issued a $15003 Jacksonville bond for each. If she used a Duval County bondsman, she will be required to pay ten percent of that amount and will have to post collateral to cover the rest. Monetary bonds are placed on people charged with crimes to encourage them to make future court appearances. When the case is over, the bond is discharged.