To spare an autistic teen the overwhelming stress of testifying in another trial the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend probation for a man and woman accused of beating the child.
Constance Gregory, 39, and Curtis Palmer, 44, both pleaded guilty Thursday, Dec. 15, in Richmond County Superior court to cruelty to children. Judge John Flythe accepted the plea recommendation and sentenced Gregory to 15 years on probation and Palmer to 10 years on probation.
Sheriff officers responding to a call about possible child abuse on Jan 10, 2020, found the 15-year-old victim with a swollen forehead and several bruises, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Davis said Thursday.
Gregory, who also had visible bruising, said she alone was responsible and that she got carried away in frustration while trying to discipline the child.
While Gregory said she alone beat the child, the victim said both Gregory and Palmer beat her with a belt, Davis said.
The victim had to testify earlier this year against a man who sexually assault her. It was traumatic for the teen to even talk about court, and she would hurt herself every time a prosecutor spoke to her before trial, Davis said.
The victim is now living with a new guardian in the Atlanta area, Davis said. The plea negotiation was acceptable to the guardian if the pair took responsibility for the harm they caused a child, Davis said.
Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a horrible and trying life this poor victim has had to live through. Both “parents” (using that term VERY loosely here), appear to be probably less than capable to deal with an autistic child. AND THEN, for this poor child to be assaulted as well. This is ONE time I will have agree that the D. A. Office made the right call. BOTH “parents” should be forced to revoke all parental rights, and hopefully this poor child will receive the love she deserves. Also, I hope that she is given the support and life skills she need to cope with this illness she will carry with her.