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Edgewood Army Sergeant Charged with Abuse of 4-Year-Old Who Weighed 28 Pounds

The Aberdeen Proving Ground soldier is accused of burning and malnourishing her 4-year-old stepdaughter, according to reports.

Harford County Sheriff's Office
Harford County Sheriff's Office
Army Staff Sergeant Monique Latrise Beneke, 27, of Edgewood has been charged with severe child abuse in connection with injuries to her 4-year-old stepdaughter.

The child weighed 28.6 pounds when she was taken into custody—lighter than more than 95 percent of her peers—with minor burns on her hands and "grab marks" on her body, while her bedroom was filled with containers of urine-soiled clothing and a urine-soaked bed, WBAL TV reported.

The child had been locked out of the bathroom because her mother once found her drinking from the toilet, according to ABC 2 News.

The 4-year-old and her siblings said the girl was punched in the stomach for trying to steal food and was also burned with a lighter, according to WBAL TV.

Beneke has three other children younger than nine, according to The Aegis, which reported the woman was being held without bond because she was considered a flight risk. Her husband was reportedly flying in from Hawaii, where he was stationed, and she worked until being reassigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground in August.

Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Marts said Beneke had previously been investigated in Hawaii for abuse, according to The Aegis.

Beneke was charged with first and second-degree child abuse, first and second-degree assault and neglect of a minor from Aug. 1 to Nov. 27, according to court documents.

The concern of a social worker at Edgewood Elementary School was what prompted the Harford County Sheriff's Office to investigate the case, according to WBAL TV.

Beneke is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Harford County District Court on Jan. 2.

Child abuse in the military is "an epidemic," Army Times reported this summer, when it released findings showing that child abuse cases in the Army increased 40 percent from 2008 to 2012. It also found that 118 Army children had died from starvation, beatings and torture.

In response, the Department of Defense announced in November a group to focus on preventing and responding to child abuse/neglect and domestic violence for the next year.
Tammy Webster Petty December 09, 2013 at 04:29 PM
She needs her butt kicked

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