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Charges: Austin mother beat children with cell phone charger

Sharnaye Scroggins mugshot

(Austin, MN) – An Austin woman is accused of beating her children with a cell phone charger.

Sharnaye Latrice Scroggins, 29, was charged in Mower County Court Wednesday with three counts each of gross misdemeanor of malicious punishment of a child and misdemeanor domestic assault.

According to the criminal complaint, a Mower County child protection worker contacted police after a 9-year-old girl reported Scroggins had whipped her with a cell phone charging cord.

The girl’s 10-year-old brother reported in an interview that he had also been whipped with the charger, resulting in bleeding and scarring.  Police found scars on his back, according to the complaint.  The boy also told investigators that Scroggins had punched him in the eye a few weeks earlier and told him to lie about his injuries to anyone who asked.  The girl corroborated his story, saying she had witnessed the punch and heard Scroggins tell the boy to make up a story about being beaten up at the skate park.

The 9-year-old also told investigators she had witnessed Scroggins beat her 5-year-old brother with the cord, a spatula, and shoe.  Police say they found injuries on the child’s upper body, which he attributed to the cord and spatula beating.  Another child, a 6-year-old girl, told police she had also witnessed the incident.

Scroggins denied whipping the children with the cell phone cord and punching the 10-year-old.  A cell phone charging cord that matched the description the children had given was found on the living room floor and seized as evidence.

Scroggins was arrested and booked in the Mower County Jail.

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