BENNINGTON -- A Beech Street woman is being accused of abusing a 2-year-old child after bruises were discovered on the child's head and face by other family members.
Reba Wiggin, 23, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child under 10, and domestic assault. She was released on conditions that she abide by an existing Family Court order.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Sgt. Michael Plusch, on April 22 he spoke to two men at the Bennington Police Station, one of whom said he believed his nephew was abused by the child's mother. He said there were bruises on the child's head and face. He had been given the impression the child fell down some stairs.
Plusch observed the child and noted there were no injuries from his neck down, just on his face and head. He spoke to the child's grandmother, who collected him from Wiggin's house to be looked after along with some other children. The grandmother said Wiggin told her that the child fell down some stairs and may have also fallen out a window.
Wiggin told police the bruises were from another child hitting him in the head with a toy. Some were from him climbing out of his "pack and play" where he sleeps, others were from him falling down stairs and hitting his head on a chair, and on one occasion he fell from a basketball he had been bouncing on.
She said she took him to a doctor's appointment for an ear infection on April 18 and a nurse said his face looked rough. Wiggin said she has never hit the child and uses "time outs" for punishment.
Plusch wrote the child's injuries were not consistent with the causes Wiggin listed, namely because they would have injured him elsewhere on his body in addition to his head and face.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.