Woman charged with felony child abuse

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — Rashonda Seals took her child to the hospital Thursday night, but ended up in jail herself.

Seals, 21, 137 Lewis Drive, H-2, was arrested Friday morning on charges of felony child abuse, after doctors at Natchez Community Hospital discovered her son had blood on his brain. The child was then taken to University Medical Center in Jackson, where it was discovered that he had several internal injuries, Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

“We see very few cases this serious, with this much injury,” Mullins said.

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Seals reportedly admitted to investigators that she had struck the child, but police do not know if the abuse had been ongoing.

“Felony child abuse is pretty serious,” Adams County District Attorney Ronnie Harper said.

In order for be convicted of felony child abuse, there has to be some kind of permanent harm to the victim.

The charge carries a sentence of 10 years up to life in prison, but because the level of injury can vary so widely, the judge has a lot of discretion.

“That’s a pretty broad statute,” Harper said.

The Department of Human Services took custody of the child, who is recovering.

Seals is being held on $45,000 bond.