TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A woman has been arrested after a local childcare facility reported "abuse inflicted injuries" on a developmentally delayed toddler in her care.
Jessica Moore, 29, has been charged with child abuse.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a Tallahassee child care facility spotted the injuries on the 3-year-old victim on July 16 and reported it to the Leon County Sheriff's Office. Medical staff at the facility said they saw what appeared to be "whip marks" on the child's chest.
Documents note that, while the child had not been diagnosed, it was suspected that the toddler had a medical condition that caused developmental delays as well as difficulty speaking, walking, and using the restroom.
During a medical examination, a nurse noted several "abuse inflicted injuries" including loop marks on the child's chest, inner thighs, and back. The nurse also photographed numerous bruises on the child's face and lower body.
When investigators interviewed Moore, she denied knowing anything about the injuries.
She said she only disciplined the child by talking or making the child go to timeout. When asked if she had ever spanked the 3-year-old, Moore stated she had on one occasion but said it was a "little tap" or "pop" on the hand.
Documents say that when they showed Moore the pictures of the child's injuries, she stated, "I guess you're on the day care's side. You're not going to make me lie. If she had injuries to her, they were given to her by someone else."
But when investigators interviewed a witness who lived with Moore until April, he said Moore would lose her temper and beat the child with a broom, belt, and bottom of a shoe.
During those times, the witness told deputies Moore would say "Keep crying, I'll give your a** something to cry about," and grab the toddler by the arm, twist it up behind the child's neck, and "drag" the 3-year-old while in that position. The witness said Moore also forced the toddler to sleep face down on the floor.
Based on the investigation, deputies found probable cause to charge Moore with child abuse. A warrant was issued for her arrest on Monday and she was taken into custody on Tuesday.
As of Thursday, she remains in jail.