A Woodbury woman was convicted today for malicious punishment of a child and domestic assault after she made her boyfriend’s daughter kneel on the floor while holding a chair above her head and sent her to school wearing a shirt that read: “I am a thief.”
Ahavel Scherz, 27, faces up to a year in prison stemming from the April incidents, according to a release from the Washington County Attorney’s Office. Her boyfriend, the father of the 13-year-old girl, was also charged.
When the girl’s arms could no longer remain fully extended while she was holding the chair, Scherz would strike the girl repeatedly with a wooden spoon, the release says, and the girl suffered numerous bruises on her arms and legs.
The next day Scherz wrote, “My name is (the girl’s name) and I am a thief” on the front of a shirt and “I have been stealing my dad’s girlfriend’s clothes…I am a thief” on the back, and forced the girl to wear the shirt to school, according to the release.
School officials reported the incident to police.
“I cannot imagine what this poor child went through that night and following day,” Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said in a statement. “Adding to that pain she was forced to come into court and relive that horrible experience in order to bring Scherz to justice. I am proud that our Washington County citizens have brought some justice to this brave little girl. Hopefully, this will send a message to parents that there is a line that cannot be crossed in disciplining our children.”
Garrett Scott Jensen, the girl’s father, has a hearing set for Aug. 27, according to a Pioneer Press story, and his trial is planned for October.