Minn. Mother in Jail for Placing Daughter on ‘Diaper Duty’

A woman from Minnesota and her live-in boyfriend are in jail after allegedly shaving the head of her 12 year old daughter and parading her up and down a street in a diaper. Apparently, this was a punishment doled out for not bringing home satisfactory grades.

Police arrived at the Fridley neighborhood Monday to find a crowd of more than 50 people watching the girl as she ran along the block in nothing but a diaper and a tank top, said Fridley Police Lt. Mike Monsrud. Her hair had also been completely shaved off, Monsrud added. Officers believe she had been outside for about half an hour before a neighbor alerted police.

“When the officer found her, she was crying and hysterical,” Monsrud said.

It is unclear why it took half an hour for neighbors to alert the authorities. The accused, 38 year old Stephanie Ann Broten and 34 year old Darnell Alan Landrum, were arrested by police on suspicion of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child. Lt Monsrud condemned the intentional humiliation of the child as an unacceptable exercising of parental discipline.

“They told her if she didn’t, they would shave her head and put her on ‘diaper duty,’ which I guess meant running up and down the street and cleaning up trash as a form of public humiliation,” Monsrud said. He added that Broten and Landrum questioned the police’s decision to intervene.

“Through the whole contact, and even on the way to jail, both were laughing and thinking it was ridiculous police would get involved in what they said was their parental decision,” he said.

While Broten doesn’t have a criminal record, her partner does have one conviction for disorderly conduct from 1999 and it is reported that police have referred previous cases of physical abuse to child protective services before the current incident.

Broten and Landrum were looking after the 12 year old and three other younger children, who have all now been placed in foster care. They did reportedly warn her that she would be placed on what they termed ‘diaper duty’ if she failed her classes and her mother lived up to that promise when her daughter came home with an ‘F’ grade on her report card Monday.

The two accused were being held in custody at Anoka County Jail as of Tuesday, and Monsrud expected them to be formally charged on Wednesday.

05 15, 2012
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