PARIS — A Maine woman has pleaded guilty to beating a 5-year-old girl with her hands and a hairbrush so severely that she left bruises on the girl’s face and back.
Tabitha Whalen received a three-year deferred disposition in exchange for her plea Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court.
The Sun Journal reports that if the 24-year-old Whalen stays out of trouble for three years and completes therapy, charges will be dropped. If she re-offends or violates bail conditions, she faces five years in prison.
Prosecutors say Whalen beat her ex-boyfriend’s daughter in the fall of 2011. A teacher called police after noticing makeup on the girl’s face covering the bruises.
Whalen’s lawyer says she has a history of mental health problems and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from childhood trauma.