Louisville pair facing criminal abuse charges after 2-year-old "tortured"
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville woman has been indicted for first degree criminal abuse after she allegedly left her 2-year-old daughter in the sole care of a man she knew was abusive -- and the child was allegedly "tortured" and suffered "serious injury" as a result, including a laceration to the child's already-broken arm.
Earlier this week, a Jefferson County, Ky. grand jury indicted Ashley Dismore, age 27.
According to court documents, the incident in question took place between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6 of this year. Authorities say Dismore "knowingly and intentionally" left her 2-year-old daughter in the care of 27-year-old Joseph Hawthorne, "despite her knowledge that he was previously sent to prison for criminal abuse of a previous girlfriend's child, and despite a promise to Child Protective Services that she would not allow Hawthorne to have any contact with her child."
"Hawthorne did, in fact, abuse the child, repeatedly, over a period of time, and despite witnessing serious injury to her daughter, the defendant did not seek medical attention for the child until she finally received a large laceration to her already broken arm," court documents state.
Court documents reveal that on Nov. 7, Hawthorne was charged with first degree criminal abuse and second degree assault. Authorities say he "is charged with seriously injuring a torturing a 2-year-old child." When Dismore tried to take the child to the hospital, authorities say Hawthorne told her to take the child to an out-of-county hospital so he "would not be recognized and taken back to prison."
At the time, authorities say Hawthorne was already on shock probation for the previous criminal abuse charge.
The alleged incidents of previous abuse referenced by the court took place in March 2011. At that time, Hawthorne was accused of shoving a bar of soap into the mouth of a 4-year-old "for whining" and making her stand in the corner. He also allegedly beat the girl's mother in the legs with a baseball bat and a telephone cord. When officers arrested him, they allegedly found a "large machete" inside his vehicle. Additional charges were brought against Hawthorne after police say a 4-year-old was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital and doctors found injuries, including a swollen face, a black eye, a bite mark to her cheek, visible bruising to her stomach, back, arms, legs and behind the ears, an injury under her tongue, whelp marks behind her legs, bruising to her bottom and a visible cigarette burn on the bottom of her foot. At the time, police said the injuries would lead to permanent scarring.
With the new charges in place, both Hawthorne and Dismore are now in custody. Court documents allege that Hawthorne had stopped taking his prescribed medications and halted his mental health regimen, and "poses a serious threat to the community."
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