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Mother Charged For Cutting Daughter’s Hair As Punishment

January 30, 1985

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) _ The mother of a 14-year-old girl was charged with cruelty after cutting off her daughter’s hair as punishment for dating a boy, police said.

An investigation revealed that Cynthia T. Nelson, 41, cut her daughter’s below-the-shoulder hair to above her ears after she forcefully restrained the girl, police said.

Ms. Nelson had summoned police to her apartment on Jan. 17, saying she was having problems with her daughter. She said the girl was there with her boyfriend when she came home. Police then found that the girl’s hair had been cut and launched an investigation.

Since the incident, the girl has been staying with other relatives, police said.

The cruelty to persons charge - an infrequently used statute - can be applied when ″any person tortures, torments, cruelly or unlawfully punishes or willfully or negligently deprives any person of necessary food, clothing, shelter or proper physical care,″ police said.

The person accused of the crime must be the legal custodian of the victim, who must be 16 years of age or younger, police said.

Ms. Nelson was released on a written promise to appear in court Feb. 6, police said. The cruelty charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and a year in jail.

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