Dover couple accused of abusing 2-year-old child
DOVER - A Portland Avenue couple faces serious charges for allegedly taping a toddler to a wall, slapping her and withholding meals from her "for extended periods of time" during a two-week period last month.
The mother of the 2-year-old girl, Cheryll Smith, 22, of 149 Portland Ave. Apt. 11, was charged Dec. 6 with simple assault for allegedly striking the girl and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to court records.
Steven Smith, 24, who is not the child's father but lives with them, was also charged Dec. 6 with second-degree assault for allegedly slapping the girl and leaving bruises on her face, false imprisonment for allegedly taping the girl's hands to the wall and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to court records.
Lt. Brant Dolleman said both Cheryll Smith and Steven Smith no longer have contact with the child as part of the bail conditions.
After warrants were issued, Cheryll Smith and Steven Smith turned themselves in to police. Both were released on $10,000 personal recognizance, according to Dolleman.
On Dec. 14, Cheryll Smith pleaded innocent to all charges during her arraignment while Steven Smith is scheduled to be arraigned this morning at 8:30 in Dover District Court.
According to an affidavit filed by Detective Mark Nadeau on Dec. 6, police began investigating the incidents after noticing the child's forehead was "swollen and bruised" when Officer James Yerardi responded to a domestic disturbance between Cheryll Smith and Steven Smith on Nov. 26.
Cheryll Smith told police Steven Smith "had caused the bruising during numerous physical altercations." Both Cheryll Smith and Steven Smith allegedly withheld food from the girl "on numerous occasions."
He also provided police with his memory card which contained two videos which he recorded "in case something like this happened," according to the affidavit.
The videos showed the girl "crying and banging her head against the wall." During further interviews, Cheryll Smith allegedly admitted that she smacked the girl on the face when she "lost control and was upset at her" and that she placed her hand over the girl's mouth for five seconds when her daughter was screaming, according to the affidavit.
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John Quinn may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.