Guardian faces charges of felony child abuse after 2 year-old suffers severe burns

tierra lee Tierra L. Lee, 26 of Racine has been charged with Felony Physical Abuse of a Child-Intentionally causing great bodily harm, and felony Child Neglect resulting in great bodily harm.?The defendant made her initial appearance in Racine Courts Tuesday afternoon and was given a $50,000 bond. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 18,2016

According to the criminal complaint on May 7,2016, Racine Police were flagged down by citizens for a report of child abuse. The witnesses told officers that a young child age 2 was located in a house and had been burned 4 days ago by scalding water and the victim had serious burns to her legs and feet. Witnesses told officers that the child was staying with the co-defendant (Josephine Lee) who was not the biological mother. The witnesses told authorities that the victims feet and legs were blistering and had puss coming from them and pleaded with officers to respond to the address. Witnesses told police that the child had been dunked in scalding water out of retaliation because the defendant was upset with the biological mother, and the victim had not gotten any medical care.

Officers responded to a home on Racine’s northside and found the victim wrapped in a dirty dingy blanket, and officers observed that the victims legs were burned, peeling, bleeding and skin was peeling off and the child appeared to be whimpering and crying. Racine Police requested Racine Fire Department to the scene.

The complaint states that while officers were at the hospital with the victim it was noted that the child had severe burns to too her feet causing bleeding and skin loss, many of the victims toes were green and gray. The hospital staff notified officers that the victim had a horrible diaper rash and a fractured front tooth was broken, had 1st and 2nd degree burns to her feet and legs and appeared dehydrated. The child was transported to Children’s Hospital in Wauwatosa. Doctor’s at Children’s Hospital told investigators that the victim suffered severe burns to her feet and legs and stated that nearly all the skin had peeled away which would be extremely painful and would result in disfigurement and disability and stated that failure to seek medical treatment after these burns will result in a higher risk of infection.

Investigators with the Racine Police Department interviewed the defendant (who is the child’s legal guardian, not the biological mother) who stated that on May 1,2016 she was giving the child a bath, when she ran out of the room to grab a towel and heard the child scream and running water. She stated she called Wheaten Franciscan but did not leave her name but got advice on what to watch for concerning burns, the complaint states.

According to the complaint the defendant stated she was going to Illinois on the train and didn’t want to take the victim with due to germs so she left her with her mother. She stated that she didn’t know the victim had gotten worse until Josephine Lee called her on May 5,2016 and the defendant stated she didn’t have a ride but would be there as soon as possible. She was still in Illinois on May 7th when Racine Police contacted her and notified her to come to the hospital. Co-defendant Josephine Lee told authorities if this was her child she would have taken her to the hospital but since she wasn’t, it was “none of her business”.