50-year-old Portage woman charged with child abuse

December 28, 2018

The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office has charged a 50-year-old Portage woman with felony child abuse.

Tamara A. Nelson made her initial appearance Dec. 21 in Columbia County Circuit Court on the charge, which carries a maximum prison sentence of six years and a fine of $10,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the sheriff’s office received a report from a hospital social worker Dec. 18 regarding possible child abuse. A family member had taken the child to the hospital after discovering a dime-sized bruise on the 3-year-old’s face. The child, who turned 4 shortly after the incident, eventually implicated Nelson. Another member of the child’s family already had spoken to Nelson about the incident, they told the detective.

Another witness saw Nelson slap the child in the face after the child had screamed at Nelson, the complaint states. Nelson reportedly told the child to “knock it off” and then slapped the child when the child screamed again.

During an interview with a Columbia County Human Services Department social worker, Nelson admitted to slapping the child, according to the complaint. The detective also spoke to Nelson, who told him she slapped the child around midnight because the child was “throwing a fit.”

Nelson has a pretrial conference set for Jan. 11.

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