BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local woman was arrested after she reportedly punished her niece for missing school by forcing her to kneel on a metal cheese grater for hours at a time.
The 17-year-old niece of Yolanda Jean-Baptiste, 36, first told Boynton Beach police of the unorthodox punishment on Tuesday, the Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting.
According to the high school student, the trouble began when a letter was sent home to her aunt after she had missed 10 classes over the course of the semester.
After reading of her niece’s truancy, Jean-Baptiste reportedly forced her to kneel on a metal cheese grater for six hours on Saturday. She made the child do so again for an additional three hours on Monday. Jean-Baptiste also threatened to poke the child’s eyes out if she told police, and made use of a belt while punishing her as well.
Local authorities told the paper that they had observed bruises, discoloration and contusions on her knees and thighs that corroborated her story.
When interrogated, Jean-Baptiste claimed she did not know how her niece had been injured, and denied the allegations against her. All the same, police arrested her and charged her with child abuse. She was remanded to the Palm Beach County Jail, where she stayed until a $3,000 bond was posted for her release the following day.
The child is said to presently be in the custody of her aunt’s boyfriend, a move approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families.