A Rochester woman is accused of severely abusing a female relative — jumping on the child’s stomach, throwing her to the ground — leading to the child’s hospitalization on more than one occasion.
Rebecca A. Pope, 40, was arrested Nov. 3 by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. She appeared Monday before Thurston County Superior Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax, and the commissioner found probable cause to charge Pope with four counts of second-degree child assault.
Kortokrax set bail at $10,000, and Pope has since been released from the Thurston County jail. The child has been placed into Child Protective Services custody.
A councilor who visited Pope’s family several times a week because of prior child abuse allegations reported on Sept. 18 that the child was covered in bruises, according to court documents. This was the fourth time this year that suspicious injuries had been reported.
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Of the injuries, the girl initially said, “I threw myself around.”
A doctor noted that the child had more than 80 individual bruises on the head, face, neck, ears, chest, back, buttocks, legs, hands and feet, according to court documents. Enzymes in the child’s blood were consistent with someone who had experienced abdominal trauma. The child was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
The doctor reported that the child’s injuries could not have been sustained through tantrums or self harm, according to court documents.
The girl eventually told a detective that Pope threw her on the floor, hit her with a wooden spoon, and pulled her hair. She also described an incident in which Pope made the girl lay on the floor, and Pope repeatedly jumped on the child’s abdomen.
The child was taken by ambulance to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in July to have blood drained from the scalp, according to court documents. The girl told a detective that Pope had pulled her hair, then thrown her to the ground. She said that she hit her head on the wood floor.
A detective showed the Pope the photos of the girl’s bruises prior to her Nov. 3 arrest. Pope reportedly said, “When she left here, she didn’t look like that.” She also said that the child had tantrums and often threw herself against the wall.