Woman faces charge for malicious punishment

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

An Albert Lea woman who allegedly physically abused her stepdaughter last October made her first appearance on a charge on Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Mary Elizabeth Mickelson, 33, is charged with gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child.

Court documents state Mickelson was charged after a Freeborn County Department of Human Services worker responded to a report of possible child abuse on or about Nov. 2. Mickelson allegedly spanked her stepdaughter, who was born in 2001, with a soup ladle on Oct. 31.

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The alleged victim reportedly told a detective with the Albert Lea Police Department that Mickelson became upset with her because she painted her nails at school and “borrowed money to” another student for lunch. She reported Mickelson spanked her with a soup spoon and hit her in the back of the head with an open hand.

Court documents state the alleged victim had “extensive bruising on her buttocks from the spanking.”

Court documents state that in an interview the detective had with Mickelson, she admitted striking the alleged victim — who was reportedly diagnosed as a young child with fetal alcohol syndrome — with a soup spoon approximately five times, but she did not think she had struck the girl hard. 

Mickelson reportedly stated the incident had taken place on either Oct. 27 or Oct. 28 and she spanked her because the alleged victim lied.

Mickelson pleaded not guilty to the charge.

A photo of Mickelson was not available as of press time.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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