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Police say children repeatedly hit with belt at Nashua home
NASHUA — Five children have been placed into foster care after police determined a local mother and her boyfriend allegedly beat two of the children with a belt and forced one of them to kneel on his knees for an extended time.
According to court documents, bruises were found on all five of the children. Their mother, Katlyn Marin, and Michael Rivera — father to at least one of the children — are also accused of placing an alarm on a bedroom door to alert them when a child left, and punishing them for hiding food.
Marin, 25, of 14 Oak St., and Rivera, 30, of 526 Abbott Farm Lane, Hudson, have been arrested for the alleged child abuse, which took place between January and April.
Police began investigating after the Division of Children, Youth and Families notified authorities about a possible assault on an 8-year-old boy. A local guidance counselor at the child’s school noticed bruising on the boy’s forearms, left ear, stomach, chest and back.
The guidance counselor told investigators that the boy often comes to school with bruises after missing school for a few days, according to court records. The child told school officials that “he is not allowed to talk about things that happen at home,” says an affidavit filed by Officer Nicole Brooks of the Nashua Police Department.
His 6-year-old brother was also questioned and began crying, placed his hands over his ears and repeatedly said he is not allowed to talk to police.
When Brooks confronted Marin about her children’s welfare at the family residence, police observed bruising on three other children, ages 4, 3, and 9 months old.
The couple had excuses for many of the bruises, saying the majority of the injuries were obtained when the children play rough with each other, according to court documents on file at the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division.
A doctor at St. Joseph Hospital evaluated the oldest boy and determined that he had several bruises in various stages of health, classifying them as suspicious and not caused by siblings, according to the affidavit.
At that point, police issued a request to the court, and Judge Michael Ryan placed all five children into an emergency foster family placement.
According to police, Marin was confrontational and hostile with police during questioning, yelling that she was innocent and does not abuse her children, according to court records.
Marin described her 8-year-old son as “extremely aggressive and dangerous,” adding she placed an alarm on his door to alert her when he leaves since he previously broke CD’s and cut his siblings’ throats, she said.
In addition, she accused the oldest boy of sexually assaulting the 6-year-old child, according to court documents. She maintained that she never hit her children, police reported.
Rivera told police that the children are aggressive with each other, blaming their rough behavior for the bruises. While he acknowledged that Marin has a temper, he claimed that neither of them has hit the children.
At least three of the children, however, told a different story to a DCYF caseworker. Two of the kids told Kathleen O’Mara that Marin and Rivera allegedly strike their 8-year-old brother with a belt almost daily, adding they are only allowed to eat once a day when they are at home.
The 6-year-old boy told the caseworker that he is frequently hit with a belt that has shiny silver squares on it, a belt that police were able to obtain as evidence. Once he was punished for hiding a cheese stick under the couch because he was starving, according to the affidavit.
“He also said that he is scared to go back to the house because of the belts,” the document indicated.
The 8-year-old boy told police that he sometimes has dreams about his parents being monsters, alleging that they do not allow him to have any toys, and that they once made him kneel on a carpet for 15 minutes to an hour as punishment.
Marin has been charged with second-degree assault and simple assault, and her bail was set at $10,000 personal recognizance. Rivera has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault and one count of simple assault, and his bail was set at $500 cash or surety.
Both are prohibited from having any contact with juveniles unless supervised by DCYF.
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