BRADENTON -- The parents of an elementary school-age girl have been charged with hitting her more than 20 times with a belt, according to Bradenton police.
Pauline M. Lee, 26, and Jeremy R. Perry, 38, admitted to hitting the girl, leaving "extensive bruising on her legs all of varying sizes," police said.
Police on Wednesday responded to Rogers Garden Elementary School at the request of Child Protection Services, which had received a report of a girl who had several bruises.
During a forensic interview and medical examination, the girl disclosed Lee and Perry had "whooped" her at their residence in the 2000 block of Fifth Street West, a news release states.
Officers recovered a belt matching some bruises on the girl, police said.
They later arrested Lee and Perry. During interviews, they admitted to hitting the girl, police said.
Lee obtained custody of the girl about a month ago after a family court ruling in Michigan, according to police.
Lee and Perry were each charged with child abuse without great harm, a third-degree felony. They appeared before Circuit Judge Susan Maulucci for a first appearance hearing Thursday afternoon.
Perry was granted a $5,000 bond and ordered to go on supervised release if he posts bail. Conditions of his release would include not consuming any drugs, random urinalysis and having no contact with the victim.
They are being held without bond at Manatee County jail.
Perry's criminal history includes a dropped charge of possession of marijuana and a conviction on battery on a law enforcement officer.
Maulucci had several questions for Lee, who appeared in person after coming from a dependency hearing.
The child was taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Families, Lee confirmed. She also told Maulucci she has a home and two jobs.
The Public Defender's Office argued there is no probable cause to arrest Lee since Perry reportedly committed the abuse. The State Attorney's Office said Lee admitted to having knowledge and also spanking the child.
Lee was granted supervised release.
Anyone having information about this case can call Bradenton police officer Michael Page at 941-932-9314, or remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477 or send an anonymous tip to crimestoppers.com.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.