'Diaper Duty' Charges: They Shaved Girl's Hair, Put Her in Diaper, Made Her Run in Public
Prosecutors say Fridley couple humiliated girl, 12, over schoolwork.
Anoka County prosecutors have filed charges against a Fridley couple who they say punished a 12-year-old girl by shaving her hair and making her wear a diaper and little else in public.
The incident drew a crowd of 50 people in the 1600 block of 68th Avenue NE and lasted 30 minutes Monday evening, Fridley police said.
It's the third time it's happened, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday morning.
Stephanie Ann Broten, 38, and Darnell Alan Landrum, 35, each faces one count of malicious punishment of a child and remain in the Anoka County jail.
The girl is OK and and she and her three siblings are in foster care, according to Fridley Police Lt. Mike Monsrud.
Here is the charge each defendant faces and the statement of probable cause from the criminal complaint.
COUNT 1: MALICIOUS PUNISHMENT OF A CHILD
Minnesota Statutes 609.377; Subd. 2; 609.101
PENALTY: 0–1 Year and/or $900–$3,000
On or about May 7, 2012, in the County of Anoka, Minnesota, [Broten and Landrum], did as a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker, by an intentional act or a series of intentional acts with respect to a child, evidence unreasonable force or cruel discipline that is excessive under the circumstances, and the punishment results in less than substantial bodily harm.
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
The Complainant states that the following facts establish probable cause:
You complainant is Officer Michael Williams of the Fridley Police Department. In that capacity, your complainant has reviewed writter reports, conducted an investigation of his own, and learned the facts stated herein.
1. On May 08, 2012 at approximately 7:16 PM, Fridley police were dispatched to a townhome on 68th Avenue NE, Fridley, in Anoka County, Minnesota, on a report of a juvenile female with her head shaved being forced to run outside wearing a diaper.
2. [Witness] observed twelve year-old [girl] standing outside or over thirty minutes wearing a diaper and tank top. [Witness] said [girl] was being disciplined for getting an "F" on her report card and that her parents had also shaved her head.
3. Officers arrived and found [girl] hysterically crying. There were approximately thirty to fifty people, including several adult men and teenage boys, who had gathered to watch [girl] who was wearing a tank top and adult diaper. Her entire head had been shaved recently, as there were shavings on her neck and chest. While being escorted to a squad car, an on-looking neighbor took a baby blanket off of her own child and wrapped it around [girl] to cover her up.
4. [Girl's] mother Stephanie Ann Broten (DOB 4-13-74) ... said she did not see what the problem was and that she was simply disciplining her child by embarassing her. [Broten's] husband ... Darnell Alan Landrum (12-01-77) said that [girl] was warned several times that is she did not start listening in school and getting better grades she would be forced to wear a diaper and shave her head.
5. [Girl] indicated she did not bring her school assignments home and was told by [Broten] that she would be getting her head shaved and that she would be on "diaper duty." [Broten] shaved her head and [Landrum] forced her to put on a diaper. She was then forced to go outside and repeatedly sprint from the basketball court and back. [Girl] said she had run the distance five times before police arrived. One of her classmates from school saw [girl] and was calling her name while she was running but [girl] told him to leave her alone. [Girl] said several people saw her in her diaper and that this is the third time she has been put on "diaper duty."
Note: The quoted material above combines nearly identical language that appears in the criminal complaints against each defendant. Their names appear in brackets where the text differs between the two complaints. The complaint identifies the witness and the girl who prosecutors allege was the victim by their initials; they appear here as "[witness]" and "[girl]" for their privacy.