MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mother of a 7-year-old boy has been charged after police say she burned her son’s face with an iron.

The West St. Paul Police Department received a child abuse complaint around 11:36 a.m. on May 10 and responded to a local elementary school to investigate.

Upon arrival, police were told the 7-year-old child came to school with a facial burn that he said came from an iron. The child said his mother burned him because he was “bad.”

An investigator spoke with the boy who said his mother often physically disciplined him when he was bad. He said that sometimes includes his mother using a black belt with a silver buckle to hit him. Police noticed a visible mark on the child’s cheek and asked the boy about it.

Police say the boy became reclusive, quiet and nervous but eventually said it was from being hit by the belt. He said his mother told him not to tell anyone how he received the mark on his cheek.

The investigator also noticed an injury on the child’s face that was consistent with a burn, similar in shape to a clothing iron. Police said the burn looked as though the iron was being pressed against the child’s face with the tip of the iron pointed toward the child’s mouth.

A search warrant was conducted at the woman’s residence and police located an iron and a belt matching the description the boy provided.

Police contacted the mother, who said the injury on her son’s face was caused when he was at the park. She said he was running around with other kids and fell down. She admitted she wasn’t watching the child when he fell because she was on her phone.

The mother was charged with malicious punishment of a child. If convicted, she could face up to a year in prison or up to $3,000 in fines.

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