Posted at: 09/24/2012 5:12 PM
Updated at: 09/24/2012 5:20 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Mother, Aunt Face Abuse Allegations
(ABC 6 News) -- A disturbing story coming from the Austin Police Department: abuse allegations against two women, and the victims were two elementary-aged school children.
The court complaint only identifies the 9-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy by their initials. But in graphic detail it tells of an on going pattern of alleged abuse.
"Allegedly they used some discipline that the state considers to be somewhat cruel and unusual," said Austin Police Captain Dave McKichan.
The case came to light when the 9-year-old girl told her teacher that her mother had punched her in the face.
"There were some allegations that they used the stick to discipline the child with," McKichan explained.
And when police looked into the allegations, they found that similar discipline methods had been used on an 8-year-old boy who lives in the same house.
"They also used weighted objects described to us as milk jugs that the child would have to hold for a prolonged period of time," McKichan said.
It led to charges against the girl's 28-year-old mother Shavon Blake, and the girl's aunt, 48-year-old Jacqueline Richardson.
Police learned of the alleged abuse through a mandatory reporter, in this case, an elementary school teacher
"They in turn then are obligated to contact either us or human services, which then begins the investigation," McKichan told us.
"Generally speaking you might see some bruises or some injuries that a child might have difficulty explaining."
But bruises aren't automatically an indication of abuse for children at an age when a tumble on the playground is common
"You might want to take a look at what type of injuries, how many injuries do they have over time, do they talk about the injuries."
Shavon Blake and Jacqueline Richardson have both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Police tell us the two kids were placed on 72 hour emergency "hold" with human services when the allegations came to light.