Mother's Son Testifies In Child Abuse Case

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

Monique James, 32, is accused of nearly killing her young, soon-to-be adoptive daughter back in May -- by pushing the four-year-old into some steps. On Tuesday the prosecution played a videotaped interview of James' young son and a Lansing police detective where he described the punishment that he and his foster sisters would sometimes experience.

"Sometimes, Mom would spank us with a spatula." He showed the detective positions that the children would have to hold for periods of time called "the motorcycle" or "cockroach" when they were being bad.

The child said the four-year-old was often spanked with a belt because she had a hard time following directions.

[The four year old] lies and is disobedient. They tell her not to pee on her self but she still does it."

According to the interview, she would sometimes be forced to eat standing up and treated roughly.

"You might get thrown down. Mama just pushes her down. She would push her on the floor lots of times."

James' attorney, Vincent Green, says he's cautious of the young boy's interview.

"She was only good, three out of a thousand times, and spankings for two hours, we know that didn't happen," said Green. "The embellishments of a child with an active mind."

Green says the children in the James household were a product of a strict --- but loving environment.

"If she did anything it might have been an accident or reckless act but nothing intentional."

James claims the child was standing on a stepstool, washing her hands in a bathroom in the Lansing home when the girl fell. The bruises doctors noticed all over her body and the brain injuries don't match James' story. The admitting physician at Sparrow hospital testified that he was worried there was some abuse.

But of course that is up to the jury to decide.

James is charged with first-degree child abuse and third-degree child abuse. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The young girl spent a month recovering from brain injuries at Sparrow Hospital. She and her older sister, who was also in the James home at the time, are now living with other foster parents. James' biological children have been placed with other family members.


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