Charged: Woman accused of starving, beating daughter

Date: 2011-09-19

By Martha Kang

EVERETT, Wash. -- Prosecutors have charged the woman accused of physically and emotionally abusing her 10-year-old daughter.

Mary E. Mazalic, 34, of Mukilteo has been charged with first-degree assault of a child and first-degree criminal mistreatment. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

According to the statement of probable cause, the girl was suffering from severe malnutrition, had cigarette burns and "whip cord" injuries all over her body and was suffering from an advanced case of urinary tract infection when she was taken into protective custody in August.

Authorities were alerted to the case by a store clerk who'd seen Mazalic with a girl whom she described as rail-thin with a gash in her arm. Officers took the girl into protective custody after interviewing both the child and Mazalic, and conferring with Child Protective Services.

Mazalic has been taking care of the girl for the past year, investigators said, and during that time, allegedly abused her in a number of ways.

The woman often made the girl take off her clothes, then beat her with extension cords, a belt and even a piece of wire, all while gagging the girl with a squeeze ball or a sock to keep her from screaming, detectives said. These beating usually took place in the garage or the basement of the home, they said.

Mazalic often threatened to kill the girl, and even made at least one attempt to do so.

She tried to drown the girl by holding her under water in the bathtub, the document said, and held a knife to the girl's throat and told her, "I'm going to kill you" to "show her she 'wasn't kidding.'" Mazalic told the girl she'd kill her and dump her body in a lake, and added, "I've done it before and would do it again."

The emaciated girl told investigators she was made to sleep in the bathtub in the basement of the home "hundreds of times," as well as in a tent in the backyard. When she was forced to sleep outdoors, she was not always given a pillow or a blanket, and the doors to the house were locked, she said.

The girl added she could not tell detectives how she'd gotten each of her scars and burns as there had been more beatings than she could count over a long period of time.

While being questioned by police, the girl asked for something to eat, and was given bags of pretzels and popcorn to eat. She then asked for a hot sandwich, detectives said.

Doctors at Providence Hospital in Everett who examined the girl said she "was repeatedly asking for something to eat." They added she was likely deprived of not only food, but also water at home.

"She spent two weeks in the hospital, because the doctors were so concerned that her body would shut down if she ate food without it being in a controlled setting," said the prosecutor. "It's a very serious case. The girl was in very bad shape when she was finally taken away."

The girl, who weighed 51 pounds when she was brought to the hospital, has gained approximately 20 pounds in the past month, the prosecutor said Thursday. She has been placed in a foster home.

Mazalic has an issue with anger and a history of abusing children, according to prosecutors. A man who was previously in Mazalic's care as a teen told investigators he was beaten with a leather-wrapped wooden paddle by the woman's boyfriend when he did not follow orders at home. He added he was only fed oatmeal at the home, seven days a week.

Prosecutors added they believe someone has already tried to intimidate potential witnesses in the case.

Mazalic is currently caring for no other children and has no job. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.


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