By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore woman who works as a corrections officer with the state prison system was arrested recently by city police after an investigation into allegations she severely beat her 8-year-old stepdaughter as punishment for an undisclosed transgression.
Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann said this week that 43-year-old Lateshia Monique Lewis Jackson was charged with one count of willful child abuse.
Reports show that APD officers were sent to an undisclosed local residence on April 16 in response to “a child abuse complaint that occurred at a different residence.”
A patrol officer observed severe bruising to both the child’s legs and notified the Escambia County Department of Human Resources and APD’s on-call investigator.
A joint investigation determined that Jackson was responsible for the injuries, which were administered at her home shortly after an incident that occurred during a youth baseball game. The stepmother reportedly coaches one of the teams, and the child played on that team.
Willful child abuse is a Class C felony that occurs when a person who is responsible for a child under the age of 18 years “shall torture, willfully abuse, cruelly beat, or otherwise willfully maltreat” the child.
According to Alabama Criminal Code, a conviction on such a charge could result in a prison sentence ranging from 366 days (1 year, 1 day) to 10 years.
Jackson was arrested April 24 and booked into the Escambia County Detention Center. She was released on bond the next day.