A 25-year-old West Palm Beach woman was arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse after leaving the young girls she was watching at a movie theater so that she could go drinking. Christen Maloney was watching the girls, ages 7 and 8, and took them to a 10:30 showing of the movie “Turbo” at the CityPlace Muvico. Maloney told the girls that she was going to use the restroom and would return shortly, but she never went back to the theater.
A manager found the children crying and scared, and employees searched all of the theater’s bathrooms for Maloney before calling the police. An hour later a security guard located Maloney trying to leave a parking garage with a friend. She told an officer that she had just gone to get popcorn, but she has actually gone to drink at Blue Martini, a nearby club. She was charged with two counts of child abuse and released from Palm Beach County Jail after posting the $6,000 bond.
Child Abuse Charges in Florida
Law enforcement can arrest and charge someone for child abuse if they suspect the individual did knowingly, intentionally, or willfully inflict mental injury upon a child or did an act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.
Child abuse is a third degree felony and each count can be punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison. It is important to determine how long a child was exposed to possible injury and investigate other mitigating factors that might have been missed by the police.
If you are charged with child abuse, our criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach may be able to help. Contact Herman Law PA to learn more.