Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Mom Took Photos of Newborn in Toilet, Trash

Parents often take photos of their babies in funny places like a laundry hamper or a soup pot, but what Brittany Lester did to her baby wasn't funny. It was child abuse.

Lester took photos of her five week old baby in dangerous places around her motel room, including between the mattress and box spring, in the toilet, and in the trash. Then she sent them to her ex, the baby's dad, as way to "get a response," according to The Smoking Gun.

She got a response all right. Her ex called the police and now Lester will be spending a year in jail and three more on probation because her pictures crossed a line.

When police saw the photos they went to arrest Lester at the motel where she was staying with her infant and 3-year-old child. She was charged with and convicted of felony child abuse.

Lester has already been in jail since March when she failed to show up for a hearing. She'll now spend an additional year in jail for her failed attempt to get her ex back.

Parents who are accused of child abuse can face criminal penalties in addition to losing custody of their children. The likelihood of arrest and the potential punishments depend on how serious the offense was.

Just like any other crime, intent is an important factor in a child abuse case. If the parent acts negligently or abusively and did so intending to hurt the child that will be more damaging than if the acts were inadvertent or careless.

For parents who just can't get enough of those photos of your kids in silly places, rest assured that you likely won't get in trouble for it. The issue with Lester's photos is that there were clearly endangering her child.

Those photos of your kid in the soup pot where the stove is clearly turned off won't get you in trouble, except when your kid is a teenager and those pictures are deemed terminally uncool.

Following her arrest, Lester's children were taken and placed in state custody. It's unclear whether they were returned to their father's care or remain in the foster care system.

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