Saturday July 13, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A woman charged with abusing her 18-month-old daughter has struck a plea agreement that places her on probation for two years with a three- to five-year suspended sentence hanging over her.

Adrienne M. Bowen, 22, of Bennington, pleaded guilty July 2 to second-degree aggravated domestic assault, cruelty to a child under 10, and a number of misdemeanor counts of violating release conditions. The state dismissed some of the violation charges it had filed against her, as well as another cruelty to a child charge, and a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

According to Bennington Police, in February they spoke to a person living at 6 Bank Street, a homeless shelter run by the Bennington Coalition for the Homeless, who said she had witnessed Bowen abusing her young daughter. Bowen was a resident at the shelter as well, said police.

The unidentified witness said on Feb. 8 they saw Bowen lift the girl off a bench by her arm, drop her to the floor and kick her.

Bowen initially denied lifting the child by the arm, but then said she did so, only not out of anger. She denied kicking the child. After being arraigned on misdemeanor charges of cruelty to a child under 10, and domestic assault, Bowen was released on the conditions that she not threaten, harass, or use corporal punishment on the child.

In April, Bowen was in court again, this time facing a second-degree aggravated domestic assault charge, another cruelty to a child charge, because a person, who was not identified by police, said she had seen Bowen squeeze the back of her child’s neck hard enough to make her fall to the floor and cry. That time she was released on the condition that she not have contact with the child except under supervision through the Family Time program.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr