Somersworth mother charged over statements in abuse case against Rochester boyfriend
BRENTWOOD — A Somersworth mother is facing charges that she misled Exeter police while they were investigating whether her boyfriend had choked her 3-year-old daughter, police said.
Stephanie Woodsum, 23, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of unsworn falsification on Monday just as her boyfriend, Kevin Lynch, was arraigned for allegedly choking her daughter and causing hemorrhaging around the toddler's eyes and face.
Lynch, 27, of Rochester was ordered held at the Rockingham County jail on $25,000 cash bail following his arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Candia on Monday.
He is charged with second-degree assault, an offense punishable by up to 3 ½ to 7 years in state prison.
Police said late Monday that Woodsum sat down with detectives for a recorded interview soon after she brought her daughter to Exeter Hospital on Friday.
Statements she made during the interview were found to be "purposely misleading" as police investigated their case, which led to Lynch's arrest, according to police. The state Department of Youth and Families is now involved with the care of the girl, police said. Woodsum, who police say is a transient from Somersworth, was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail.
Exeter police arrested Lynch on Friday night after being called to Exeter Hospital's Emergency Department to investigate the alleged assault.
A doctor who specializes in child abuse pediatrics told police that the young girl was brought to the hospital after the girl's mother noticed "blood in her eyes, nose and a rash on her face and chest," court documents said.
Another doctor who examined the girl determined the injuries were not caused by an infection, "but that they did appear to be consistent with signs of asphyxiation," Detective Sgt. Michael Munck said in a sworn affidavit.
In an interview with police, Lynch acknowledged being "a little rough" with the child after she had wet the bed at her girlfriend's home. He also acknowledged that he held her "in a headlock-type hold" while carrying her to another room after she wet a bed.
"He said that he had held her with one arm and brought her to the bathroom to change, and had carried her back to the bedroom and then 'threw her over to the bed'," Munck said in the affidavit.
Lynch said the bed wetting happened just after he woke up around 8 a.m. and had started his car to leave his girlfriend's residence.
During his interview with police, Lynch demonstrated how he held the girl in the headlock-hold when he carried her, according to court records.
"He had told her not to wet the bed again before leaving the residence," Munck said in the affidavit. Lynch told police that the girl's mother was asleep during the incident. Lynch is due back in court for a probable cause hearing on March 18. Woodsum is scheduled for arraignment April 8.