Real-life evil stepmother? Why an NJ woman refused to feed diabetic girl
A Hudson County woman was more like a wicked character out of a fairytale than a caring, responsible guardian, according to state officials who charged her with abusing her sick teenage stepdaughter.
A judge in 2013 declared the woman an abusive parent for refusing to feed the insulin-dependent 15-year-old girl, who needed to eat regularly, monitor her blood sugar and take insulin in order to avoid going into shock.
The stepmother admitted to a Child Protection and Permanency Division worker that she hated the girl and did not want to cook for her because she believed the girl was "a child of the devil," court records say.
The stepmother, who court records only identify by initials in order to protect the identity of the victim, appealed the ruling. But an appellate panel on Wednesday upheld the trial judge's finding that she committed "wanton, intentional, and grossly negligent conduct."
It is not clear from the appellate decision whether the woman faced criminal charges.
Child Protection and Permanency will remove children from abusive households, but it is also not clear from the information provided in the court record what eventually happened to the child.
The woman would cook for the family, but not for the girl — and would get mad when the girl tried to eat off her father's plate, according to court proceeding records.
The girl told a division worker that her stepmother took away her keys and wouldn't let her back into the house one evening to obtain her insulin. The division worker had to take the girl to a pharmacy and buy her the insulin, according to the appellate decision.
The stepmother argued that the girl, who ended up losing a lot of weight, should have been responsible for making her own meals with whatever food she could find at home.
The appellate panel said the woman's arguments had no merit.
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