A Minnesota mother and her boyfriend each face a charge of malicious punishment of a child after a 12-year-old allegedly had her head shaved and was forced to run in the street wearing a diaper.
The preteen girl was not doing well in school. She was warned to do better by her mother and stepfather or else she would be punished. As promised, when she got an F on her report card, she was punished.
It is alleged that on Monday, Stephanie Broten, 38, and Darnell Landrum, 34, shaved the little girl's head. They then forced her to run up and down the street in front of their home wearing only a diaper and a tank top. Referred to as "diaper duty," the girl was also required to pick up any garbage she found on the street.
The punishment was watched by a crowd of people, estimated to be between 30 and 50. Some had the decency to call 911. When officers arrived, the girl was still running. As reported by KARE, she was "crying and hysterical."
Broten and Landrum were arrested and on Wednesday, they were each formally charged with one count of malicious punishment of a child. If convicted, they face up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
June Campbell, a neighbour, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he saw the girl standing at the back door of her house. She was crying and saying, "Can I come in? Can I come in?" He said Broten just looked at her.
Another neighbour, one of the ones who called police, Carl Anderson, said, "That's crazy... I would never do that to my kids even if they did do something bad."
According to Pioneer Press, the girl told police this was the third time she was required to do "diaper duty." Neighbours confirmed they had seen her before, picking up garbage while wearing a diaper.
Broten and Landrum can't understand what the big deal is. Lt. Mike Monsrud, of the Fridley Police Department, was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, Through the whole contact [with police] and even on the way to jail, both were laughing and thinking it was ridiculous police would get involved in what they said was a parental decision.
Child Protection Services were called and the 12-year-old, together with three other children in the house, were put into foster care.