January 29

Thorndike mother allegedly burns son’s hand as punishment

Michelle Dunworth has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and domestic violence assault.

By Rachel Ohm rohm@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

THORNDIKE — A local woman will appear in court next month after allegedly burning her son’s hand as a punishment.

Michelle Dunworth, 30, of Thorndike, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and domestic violence assault.

Dunworth allegedly put her 6-year-old son’s hand on a wood stove in their home earlier this month to show him what it felt like after he accidentally pushed his 7-year-old sister into the stove, said Chief Deputy Jeffery Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department.

The boy, whose name is not being released, is a student at Mount View Elementary School, where a teacher on Jan. 13 saw a bandage on his hand and asked him what happened, said Trafton.

“He told teachers his mom held his hand on the stove so he would know what it feels like,” Trafton said.

The burn was between second- and third-degree damage and covered the back of the boy’s hand and wrist, he said. The Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department, became involved after the teacher’s report.

Dunworth was arrested on Jan. 21 and has been released on bail. She could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Trafton said her two children remain in her custody. DHHS spokesman John Martins said the department cannot comment on the case because of confidentiality laws.

Rachel Ohm— 612-2368 rohm@centralmaine.com

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