VALPARAISO | A 44-year-old Valparaiso woman told the court Tuesday she repeatedly spanked a 4-year-old boy in her care so severely the child suffered serious injuries.
Angela Terrell said she also failed to seek medical care for the child when he fell down stairs, suffering obvious injuries to his face. His behavior also changed after the fall.
Terrell pleaded guilty to Class D felony counts of neglect of a dependent and battery of a child younger than 14.
If the proposed plea agreement is accepted June 17 by Porter Circuit Judge Mary Harper, any sentences will be served consecutively and Terrell will be required to cooperate against her co-defendant in the case and the child's 25-year-old mother, Elizabeth Lozano.
Lozano has denied accusations of abusing her son badly enough that he had to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
The alleged abuse came to light Oct. 23 when a child advocate noticed extensive bruising on the boy's face and body during a court hearing in Lake County, according to charging information.
The boy was taken to the Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville, where it was discovered he had bruising, blistering and multiple bruises on his face, back, arms, legs and buttocks. Police said the boy, who had a bleeding wound on his buttock and burns on his right arm, was transported to Indianapolis and was placed on ventilator following surgery.
The women admit in a series of recovered text messages that they had beaten the boy and deprived him of food, clothing and sleep, police said.
Terrell said Tuesday she had permission from Lozano to beat the child.