MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Apple Valley woman has been charged with malicious punishment of a child, assault and neglect after police say she and her boyfriend abused a 2-year-old to the point of being partially paralyzed.
According to the charges, police received a report on April 23 that 24-year-old Ashley Marie Roff, and her boyfriend Carlton Raymond Lewis were abusing two girls, leaving bruises on their bodies.
Police spoke with the people reporting the abuse who said they noticed several bruises on the girls starting from April 11. Police interviewed the girls about their bruises and were told, “Carlton did it.”
Lewis initially denied to police that he hit and bruised the children. He later admitted to spanking the girls.
In an interview with police, Roff said she has no problem with Lewis disciplining her children and said she never saw bruises but claimed the children “bruise easily.”
Roff admitted that both she and Lewis have used a belt to discipline the 3-year-old girl. Lewis told police he struck the 3-year-old five or six times with a belt. He said he and Roff would also punish the child by making her hold her arms above her head for five to ten minutes but said there was one occasion when they fell asleep and she ended up holding her hands up for at least 30 minutes.
On June 28, the Apple Valley Police Department received a report that the 2-year-old child was admitted to the hospital on June 25 due to a brain injury. According to medical reports, Roff said the girl ran into a desk two days before and had fallen out of her bunk bed on several occasions.
She said she took the child to the hospital on June 25, after noticing the girl had some loss of movement on her left side. Roff said the girl was unwilling or unable to walk when she brought her to the emergency room.
Police later discovered the girl was injured a full week before Roff brought her to the hospital. Lewis told police the girl seemed to have suffered a concussion. He said she threw up once and just laid around after the injury. He also said she wouldn’t use the toilet and they had to revert back to diapers.
Roff told police she was worried about what child protection and police would think about the injury and wanted to see if the child healed on her own.
On July 2, the 2-year-old remained in the hospital with loss of vision in one eye and some paralysis to her side.
The 3-year-old girl told police and a social worker that her 2-year-old sister was hit in the head with a belt.