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Arrested in April for attempting the in-home circumcision of her 3-month old son late last year, Keemonta Peterson of Portland, Oregon pled guilty to one count of first degree criminal mistreatment on Monday, with prosecutors agreeing to drop all other charges.
As per the plea agreement, the mother of four was sentenced to 5 years probation, ordered to seek mental health treatment, and must work with a specialized mental health probation officer while she serves her sentence.
Peterson apparently set out on this endeavor when she became inspired after reading the Old Testament, reports The Oregonian.
Believing that her son was too old to be circumcised by doctors, the paper reports that she watched a few YouTube videos and then got to work on the home circumcision.
She ended up calling 911 when the boy experienced profuse bleeding and serious pain.
He has fully recovered, and, along with his siblings, is in state care.
While it's reasonable to think that Keemonta Peterson got off easy, a statement made by presiding Judge Eric Bergstrom properly explains just why her punishment may ultimately be just.
Pointing out that she served 28 days in jail, The Oregonian quotes the judge as telling Peterson that "the reality is you love your children and had absolutely no intent to harm your child."
Yes, Keemonta Peterson acted in a very bizarre manner indicative of mental illness, but the purpose of the home circumcision was not to harm the boy, as she immediately called paramedics when he was obviously hurt.