MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota mom who wanted to punish her daughter for bad grades found out her punishment on Wednesday at the Anoka County Courthouse.
Stephanie Ann Broten, 38, was found guilty of malicious punishment of a child: forcing her 12-year-old daughter to run outside in a diaper and tank top.
Broten’s 34-year-old boyfriend, Darnell Alan Landrum, faces the same charge.
The judge sent a message just before sentencing Wednesday saying: This wasn’t discipline, this was a crime.
The judge sentenced Broten to 90 days in jail, but she could face a year if she violates her probation.
During her 90 days, Broten will be allowed to go to work and spend the rest of her time in the Anoka County Jail.
Her attorney asked for a week stay so she could get her job in order. In response, he judge came down hard, saying: No, she’s going to jail so her daughter can go home knowing she’s safe.
Her daughter was in court and never looked at her mother.
The girl’s biological father, who she and her siblings now live with, read an impact statement on his daughter’s behalf.
“I want her to go to jail so I don’t have to look at her,” the statement said.
The judge said shaving the child’s head and forcing her to run outside in a diaper in front of classmates and grown men was “an assault on her dignity.”
Broten plans to appeal. She said in court how sorry she is and that she only pleaded guilty so her children wouldn’t have to go on the witness stand.
Said Tony Palumbo, Anoka County Attorney: “I think the decision by the judge was absolutely appropriate in this kind of situation.”
Palumbo continued on: “In all child abuse cases, there’s an element of outrage. This particular case involved someone who set out to deliberately embarrass a child. And the extent to which the child was embarrassed, by forcing her to run throughout the neighborhood wearing a diaper and having her head shaved, I think was particularly cruel to a 12-year-old girl who obviously is becoming a young lady.”