Written by @kristenshylin_
Jessica Smith was charged after failing to seek medical help for her toddler after the child was sprayed with a hot water hose, WOKV reported.
The 24-year-old Gainesville, Florida resident was charged with child neglect resulting in great bodily harm after the child’s father notified the authorities about the toddler’s injuries.
According to WGFL, the father, who shares custody with the mother, said he became concerned when Smith stopped him from seeing their child for two months.
When the father finally saw the toddler, he said he discovered excessive scarring across her back and quickly alerted child services.
Smith claimed that the child received medical attention after a babysitter from Care.com burned her, adding that the babysitter was later arrested, according to the initial report.
Meanwhile, an investigation conducted by the Department of Children and Families concluded that Smith’s claims were fabricated.
Smith admitted to authorities that she lied because she did not want to risk losing custody of her child. She also used the same excuse when asked why she did not seek treatment for her child.
Authorities said Smith’s new statement matched the child’s scarring. The mother revealed that the child was sprayed with a hose that had been sitting in the sun by another child.
Officials said the child was left “permanently disfigured” with scars extending from the lower part of the cranium across both shoulders and down the neck, due to the mother’s lack of action in seeking medical help.