January 9, 2013

Maine woman pleads guilty to beating girl, 5

The Associated Press

PARIS — A Maine woman has pleaded guilty to beating a 5-year-old girl with her hands and a hairbrush so severely that she left bruises on the girl's face and back.

Tabitha Whalen received a three-year deferred disposition in exchange for her plea Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court.

The Sun Journal reports that if the 24-year-old Whalen stays out of trouble for three years and completes therapy, charges will be dropped. If she re-offends or violates bail conditions, she faces five years in prison.

Prosecutors say Whalen beat her ex-boyfriend's daughter in the fall of 2011. A teacher called police after noticing makeup on the girl's face covering the bruises.

Whalen's lawyer says she has a history of mental health problems and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from childhood trauma.

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