The 3-year-old girl had bruises and markings from a belt covering her body.
A worker at a Tacoma daycare spotted the injuries May 3 and called police.
The girl was fairly new to the daycare. She’d transferred there for convenience because her dad’s girlfriend also had young children at the daycare.
Her dad warned the daycare workers his daughter had been kicked out of two previous preschools for throwing tantrums and biting a teacher, records show.
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She was acting out because her mom moved out of the state and the girl missed her.
Daycare workers said they experienced no behavioral problems with the child.
After being notified of the markings on the girl, police went to the girlfriend’s house and asked about them. She called her boyfriend.
The girl told officers her dad’s girlfriend caused her injuries, and police turned the child over to Child Protective Services.
When police spoke with the father days later, he told them his daughter stayed at his girlfriend’s house for three nights because he was sick.
Doctors said the abuse took place during those days.
When officers showed the dad photos of his daughter’s injuries, “his face turned red and he began to cry,” records show.
He allegedly told police he didn’t want to believe his girlfriend hurt his daughter.
The girlfriend told police the child is “sweet,” but gets angry when she doesn’t get her way and can be difficult to calm down.
She allegedly admitted to hitting the girl with a belt the night before daycare workers called police, but denied beating her.
“When asked what she classifies as a ‘beating,’ the defendant said she wasn't pinning (the girl) down or holding her down while she was hitting her with a belt and therefore, she didn't think it was a beating,” according to charging papers.
Pierce County prosecutors on Friday charged the 38-year-old woman with second-degree child assault.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653