Tumwater woman pleads not guilty to child abuse

A 32-year-old Tumwater woman pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault of a child and second-degree assault of a child Tuesday morning in Thurston County Superior Court after allegedly hitting her 9-year-old stepdaughter with a belt.

Court documents giver the following account of the case:

The Tumwater Police Department began investigating the woman on July 18 after a day care employee noticed that the girl had a large bruise on her thigh. The child claimed her stepmother had hit her repeatedly with a metal-studded belt after she told a lie.

The girl told police that she had been hit with a belt almost every day for the past three or four years, but this was the first time her stepmother used a metal-studded belt.

The child said the metal studs made her bleed, and she noticed the blood while taking a shower. She cried, and her stepmother heard her and slapped her.

The girl was examined at Providence St. Peter Hospital, where nurses found large bruises covering her buttocks and right thigh.