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MN Mom Made Daughter, 12, Shave Head, Wear Diaper in Street

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By Edward Tan, JD on May 10, 2012 7:02 AM

Two Minnesota parents were arrested for shaving the mother's 12-year-old daughter's head and making her wear a diaper in public, WCCO-TV reports. And to think that Mother's Day 2012 is coming up on Sunday.

Police found the girl running up and down the street picking up trash. A crowd of over 50 people had gathered to watch the girl, who was dressed in a diaper and tank top. The couple, Stephanie Ann Broten, 38, and Darnell Alan Landrum, 34, allegedly told police they did it as punishment for the girl's poor grades and her failure to do homework.

Broten and Landrum were each charged with malicious punishment of a child. So what kind of sentence could these parents-of-the-year be facing?

Try up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

In Minnesota, malicious punishment of a child is charged as a gross misdemeanor. It's defined as cruel discipline or unreasonable force intentionally used against a child.

The statute's language is pretty broad. Though it's likely hard to deny shaving a child's head and forcing them to publicly clean up garbage in a diaper is anything less than cruel. It's difficult enough for kids to grow up in this age of cyberbullying.

The couple should consider themselves lucky that the daughter wasn't seriously hurt physically. If she had been, under Minnesota law, they could've been charged with a felony. Depending on the injury's severity, they could've gotten from five to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $20,000.

The daughter and three other children living at Broten's apartment have all been placed in foster care. Fortunately, there are no reports that any of the other kids were forced to wear diapers or have their heads shaved.

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