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Wed, Oct. 16

Couple arrested for allegedly abusing girl, 4

A couple was arrested Tuesday on charges including felony child abuse after a faculty member at a local school alerted police to signs of possible abuse of a 4-year-old female student.

After arriving at the school, the officer met with the faculty member and then the girl. The officer saw a round bruise on the child's cheek that was so severe it could be seen inside her mouth, as well as scratches on her neck, face and ears, Prescott Police Lt. Ken Morley said.

The girl made statements to the officer that caused concern and Child Protective Services was notified, Morley said.

The girl was taken to Yavapai Regional Medical Center for a medical evaluation and was later interviewed by the staff at Yavapai Family Advocacy Center.

The girl had bruising all over her body - some of the bruises appearing older than others - and there were indications of sexual abuse, Morley said.

Prescott police investigators tracked down the girl's guardians, who both said they did not notice anything unusual or any significant bruising on the girl and denied anything related to sexual abuse, Morley said.

According to the investigators, the couple showed very little concern about the girl and blamed the injuries on normal childhood mishaps.

Officers arrested the couple and booked them into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on felony child abuse charges. The woman was also charged with felony sexual abuse of a child.

The girl and her 2-year-old brother are in the custody of Child Protective Services, Morley said.

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