If a babysitter pled guilty to beating your toddler and was free 16 hours later, what would you do?
That’s the question one St. Helens, Oregon, mother finds herself dealing with after the person convicted of the offense served less than a day of her 10-day sentence.
“A babysitter who pleaded guilty to assaulting a toddler in Columbia County served just hours in jail for her crime. Now, that baby’s mother feels the justice system has failed her son. The babysitter is also changing her story; she now denies physically abusing the toddler.”
“Crystal Nagel noticed something wasn’t right with her son Paxton several months ago. ‘He was acting really weird.’ Nagel said Paxton was withdrawn and didn’t want to be touched or held. Paxton eventually developed a swollen lip that Nagel noticed after he’d been in the care of his father’s fiancé, Natasha Kral.
Authorities determined that Nagel’s little boy had been beaten with an instrument of some kind, probably a wooden spoon.
Nagel, who is also Kral’s cousin, said she became suspicious when Paxton couldn’t shut his mouth without it hurting.
“He had seven welts going from his shoulders going to the bottom of his butt,” she explained.
That’s what led Nagel to calling the St. Helens police and issuing a complaint.
More from KATU:
“The investigating officer wrote in the police report that the welts on Paxton looked like they were caused by a wooden spoon or something similar. Police made Nagel take Paxton to the emergency room, where a doctor determined Paxton had been abused. Kral was eventually charged with third degree felony assault for hitting Paxton, and causing physical injuries to his body.”
Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison said that Kral was hit with those charges “because the other options, child neglect and endangering the welfare of a child, don’t cover physical abuse.”
Kral pleaded guilty, saying that her attorney told her to do so because the process would “go faster that way.” But in later comments to the news site, she retracted that claim.
Natasha Kral is engaged to Paxton’s dad (and Nagel’s ex), Brandon Pitts.
How outraged are you by Kral’s sentence? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
[Image via KATU]