Couple Accused Of Telling Toddler To Hurt Herself
WMUR 9 - New Hampshire,, August 19, 2010

CLAREMONT, N.H. -- A father and his girlfriend have been charged with making a phony tape they said showed how a 2-year-old sustained serious injuries.

Police said the toddler was brought to a hospital with bleeding to her eyes and brain, and while police and the Department of Children, Youth and Families investigated the case, the father and girlfriend handed over the tape. But police said the video was staged.

Police said the man's girlfriend can be heard on the video telling the girl to hit herself. Neither the father nor his girlfriend has been charged with abuse, but they were charged with falsifying evidence.

Investigators said the girl was taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center because her father, Jason Longley, 22, of Acworth, N.H., said she had been having what he thought were seizures.

Nurses told police the 2-year-old "had bleeding in her eyes and brain, a severe skin infection on her face, and strange bruising patterns that were being explained as 'self-inflicted,'" according to court documents.

When police arrived at the hospital, Longley's girlfriend, Laura Sullivan, 23, of Claremont, gave police a videotape she said showed the girl injuring herself in her sleep, police said.

But police said Sullivan's voice could be heard on the tape.

"Ms. Sullivan was giving (the girl) commands such as 'hit yourself,' 'faster,' and 'poke your eyes,'" the police report said. "Each time she gave a command, (the girl's) behavior would change to reflect compliance with the command."

"The interview determined that tape was not spontaneous and was, in fact, manufactured," said Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway.

Police said they continued to press Longley and Sullivan for the real reason behind the injuries. Investigators said Sullivan eventually said the girl fell off a chair and hit her head.

Longley and Sullivan are scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of falsifying evidence. Hathaway said his office is continuing to investigate the case.


Return to:
Child Abuse In-box
Front Page