Abused A Child, It Is Charged

from: nytimes.com
July 5, 1895

Mrs. May Charles Accused of Beating and Burning Her Husband's Adopted Daughter

Mrs. May Charles was a prisoner in the Jefferson Market Police Court yesterday, charged with beating and burning her eight-year-old adopted daughter Ethel. Th child's arms were covered from shoulder to the wrist with scars and black and blue spots. Her face was covered with marks, too, and her legs were burned so that she could hardly stand. She trembled like a leaf at the sight of Mrs. Charles, and clung to Agent Frank Barkley of the society.

Mrs. Charles and her husband live at 249 West Fifteenth Street. He is a truckman. The child was adopted several years ago by Charles's first wife, who died a year and a half ago. He married again six months ago.

Ethel says her adopted mother began to abuse her at once. The child was forced to do most of the housework, she says, and when she could not do the work she was beaten and often burned. The child says her mother, when she said she was too tired to work, would touch her arms and legs with a hot iron, and the beat her with sticks of kindling wood.

The attention of the Gerry agents was called to the case by neighbors who saw the condition the child was in. Agents Barkley and Moore of the Gerry society went to the place yesterday morning. Mrs. Charles was at first very indignant when told of the errand of the Gerry agents. She said she was sorry the girl was not at home, but she had gone out of the city for the day with her father. Agent Barkley saw Ethel on the street. He took her in charge, and then went back to the flat and arrested the woman, and took her to Jefferson Market Court. Her husband went to court soon afterward.

Mrs. Charles is a good-looking woman. She was very well dressed when she appeared before Magistrate Flammer. The Magistrate decided that the child, whose name is Ethel May Childs, was too young to make a complaint, but he held Mrs. Charles in $500 bail for examinaton this afternoon on complaint of Agent Barkley.

The woman was released on bail.

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