A judge sent a Fridley mother away in cuffs on Wednesday after sentencing her to a year in prison for maliciously punishing her 12-year-old daughter by shaving her head and forcing her to run outside wearing only a diaper and a tank top.
At sentencing, the judge did not hesitate to use stern language to impress up on 38-year-old Stephanie Ann Broten that her actions were not only excessively mean but also abusive. Broten was sentenced to one year in prison, and was led away in hand-cuffs.
She must serve at least 90 days before she can qualify for work release.
Darnell Alan Landrum, 34, and Broten were first charged in Anoka County District Court over the incident on May 7, which investigators say was prompted after the girl received an "F" grade on her report card.
On Oct. 22, Broten entered a "Lothenbach plea" to a charge of malicious punishment of a child; however, she reserved the right to appeal in order to challenge whether evidence of bodily harm is required in proving the crime.
A week later, Landrum pled guilty to aiding and abetting malicious punishment of a child, as well as to a domestic assault charge from two years before where he hit Broten's daughter with a belt and left bruises on her legs. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 21.
"The cruel nature of the punishments inflicted on this child required this action by the criminal justice system." stated Tony Palumbo, Anoka County Attorney.
On May 7, the girl told police that day marked the third time she had been placed on "diaper duty."
Neighbors called police after seeing the girl doing wind springs in their townhouse complex, noting that her head appeared freshly shaven and she was "crying hysterically."
The couple told investigators the girl was repeatedly warned that she would be placed on "diaper duty" if her grades did not improve. At the time, Broten also told police that she didn't see what the problem was, explaining that she was disciplining her daughter by embarrassing her.
Since the two were arrested, the girl and her three siblings have been moved into foster care with the girl's father.
Officials say that beside the diaper punishment, the pair also punished some of their children by refusing to let them take showers and only serving them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month.