MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A woman is facing child abuse charges after authorities say she “violently forced” Q-tips into the ears of her 14-month-old son.
Jenna Schumacher, 26, is charged with one count of physical abuse of a child.
The criminal complaint indicates that Schumacher brought her son to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin on Nov. 5 where the child was admitted for chronic ear bleeding and perforated eardrums.
Doctors indicated there was “no medical cause” for the ear injuries — and because of that, they were concerned this may be an abuse situation.
Doctors and a child abuse specialist agreed to monitor the child in his hospital room via video surveillance — and instructed Schumacher “not to place anything into the child’s ears.”
On Nov. 14, the video surveillance revealed that Schumacher entered the child’s room, reached into a pocket and pulled out a Q-tip.
The complaint indicates she “violently forces the Q-tip into the child’s right ear multiple times. The child is seen crying, struggling, kicking his legs and trying to get away from the defendant.”
About a minute later, Schumacher is seen doing the same thing.
Schumacher initially denied to investigators putting anything into the child’s ears. But when confronted by the video surveillance, Schumacher told them “she began forcing Q-tips into the child’s ears around the same time she broke up with the child’s father.”
Schumacher also told investigators that sometimes she “can’t stand to look at the child because he looks so similar to his father.”
After further examination, doctors indicated the risk of permanent hearing impairment for the child is high.
If convicted, Schumacher faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.