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Dover couple indicted after police, DCYF say they slapped 2-year-old

DOVER - A local couple could face prison time for allegedly slapping and hitting a 2 year-old girl for misbehaving last year.

Steven Smith, 25, of 149 Portland Ave., No. 11, was charged with second-degree assault and simple assault while his wife, Cheryll Smith, 23, also of 149 Portland Ave., No. 11, was charged with simple assault.

Steven Smith allegedly struck the child, who is not his daughter, on the back, which caused bruising, Nov. 26, and both Smith and his wife allegedly slapped her daughter in the face with their hands, which left red marks, between Nov. 1 and 26, according to the indictments.

During his December arraignment in Dover District Court, Steven Smith said the girl was staying with foster parents.

Police began investigating after an officer noticed the girl's forehead was "swollen and bruised" Nov. 26. She was held overnight in Wentworth-Douglass Hospital while members of the Division of Children, Youth and Families were notified, according to court records.

After interviewing the couple, investigators believe the girl sustained injuries due to "repeated spankings and lengthy timeouts" when the girl acted out over a two-week time span in November, according to court records.

Second-degree assault is a Class B felony which could result in a maximum of 10 to 30 years in prison and a $4,000 fine, while each count of simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor, which can yield up to 2 to 5 years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Both are scheduled to appear for arraignment in Strafford County Superior Court March 28 at 9 a.m.


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