KEY POINTS

  • Stephanie Gregory was charged Wednesday
  • She is held at Atlantic county jail
  • Gregory was the legal guardian of the victim and two of her siblings
  • The victim was hospitalized for a week after she was removed from Gregory’s custody

A New Jersey woman has been charged for repeatedly beating a 9-year-old girl under her care leaving the emaciated child barely able to walk, Atlantic county prosecutor’s office said.

Stephanie Gregory, 56, of Galloway Township, was charged Wednesday with two counts of second-degree aggravated assault and six counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child for the assault against the child.

Gregory was the legal guardian of the victim and her two siblings according to a news release from the Atlantic County prosecutor.

“The charges stem from Gregory’s failure to properly feed the 9-year-old female victim and beat the child repeatedly with a metal spatula leading to open wounds and welts on the child’s body,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said in a statement, NJ.com reported.

Gregory is also charged with one count of third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance for keeping heroin.

The victim was found in an extremely emaciated condition and could barely walk when the child welfare officials removed the girl from Gregory’s custody. The minor girl was taken to a hospital and was treated for one week.

Gregory is currently held at Atlantic county jail pending a detention hearing. The Atlantic County SWAT team assisted the prosecutor’s office in the investigation and the arrest.

In a similar incident in February, an Iowa couple was charged after their 16-year-old son was found malnourished and zip-tied to a chair when the victim was brought to work by his mother. Jennifer Ryan, 48 and her husband Richard Ryan, 47, the parents of the teen boy with special needs were charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping.

The investigators found out that the boy endured beatings and was often denied food. He was routinely confined to his room for several months and was often restrained to his bed frame using zip ties. The victim was even restricted from using the restroom at night and was made to sleep on the floor if he happened to wet the mattress. The boy had several non-healing abrasions and bruises including bone deformities to one foot caused by wearing shoes that were too small for him.

child-1439468_640 Representational image Photo: pixabay