Back in May we reported on 38-year-old Stephanie Ann Broten and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Darnell Alan Landrum. In response to Broten’s 12-year-old daughter bringing home bad grades, the couple shaved her head and put her in a diaper before sending her outside in front of neighbors and classmates.
One of these neighbors ended up calling police who arrived to find a crowd of 30 to 50 people watching the poor girl crying hysterically as she tried to get back in her house after being forced to run up and down the street with a shaved head and clad in a diaper and a tank top.
Neighbors said she had been outside for at least 30 minutes and reported seeing the girl standing outside the back door begging her mother to let her in, only to have her mother stare back at her. When police questioned Broten, she told them she did not see what the problem was and that she was simply disciplining her child by embarrassing her.
Both Broten and Landrum were arrested on a misdemeanor charge of malicious punishment. Arresting officers said that the entire time police interacted with the couple, and even as they were in a squad car on the way to jail, they were both laughing and thought it was ridiculous police got involved in their method of parental humiliation.
Broten wasn’t laughing when her daughter and her siblings were placed in the custody of the girl’s biological father, and I am positive she wasn’t laughing last month when a judge said what she did to her daughter was an assault on the girl’s dignity and sentenced her to 90 days in jail. Broten will be allowed to go to work but other than that, she will spend her free time in the Anoka County Jail.
Broten’s attorney asked for a week stay so she could get her work in order but the judge said he wanted Broten’s daughter to go home knowing she’s safe, and sent her directly to jail. Broten’s daughter was in the courtroom while all this was happening and never once looked at her mother. Her biological father read an impact statement on her behalf in which the girl stated, “I want her to go to jail so I don’t have to look at her.”
On Tuesday it was Landrum’s turn and, like Broten, he wasn’t in the same joking mood he was in on the day he was arrested. Especially when the judge sentenced him to 120 days in jail to start immediately. The judge also imposed another 245 days behind bars that will remain stayed if Landrum successfully completes his two year probation. Landrum must also perform 30 hours of community service and pay a $300 fine.
His punishment was stiffer than Broten’s because it also took into account his guilty plea to misdemeanor assault, stemming from an an Oct. 5, 2010 incident in which he hit Broten’s daughter with a belt.
This diaper incident wasn’t this the first time police have dealt with the family. They had responded to the couple’s home four times in the past two years, one of these calls resulted in Child Protective Services investigating allegations by neighbors of physical abuse.Tags: Child Abuse, Crime, Darnell Alan Landrum, diaper, humiliation, Minnesota, Stephanie Ann Broten