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.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.