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Faribault mother accused of abusing 7-year-old child

(Faribault, MN) – A Faribault mother is facing disturbing allegations of ongoing abuse against her adopted daughter.

Jessica Jo Lindberg, 35, was charged Friday in Rice County Court with felony neglect of a child and gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child.

According to the criminal complaint:

Lindberg has two biological children and two adopted children.  Rice County Social Services received a report on September 17th that the adopted 7-year-old daughter was being mistreated.  According to the report, the girl was locked in the basement most of the time and wasn’t allowed to eat dinner with the family.  The report also alleged that Lindberg subjected the child to substantial physical and verbal abuse.

Police interviewed Lindberg’s children as part of the investigation. The children told detectives that the 7-year-old is spanked with a makeshift wooden paddle for punishment, while the other children are put in time out.  The children said they have witnessed Lindberg hit the girl on the legs, arms, and even her head with the wooden paddle.

The children also confirmed the report that the girl was often locked up in the basement, and the door is blocked with a chair so the child can’t escape.  One of the children told police the girl will bang on the door to try to get out, but eventually falls asleep.  The girl doesn’t have a bed, according to the other children.

Lindberg’s children also told investigators of verbal and mental abuse the girl allegedly suffered at the hands of their mother.  Lindberg reportedly calls the girl a “stupid little bitch” on a regular basis.  One of the children said Lindberg showed their sister a photo of her biological father and his new baby, telling her that her dad no longer loved her and was happier with his new family.  One of the children reported that Lindberg regularly tells the girl she hates her and wishes she had never adopted her.

Investigators interviewed the 7-year-old girl, who they say was reluctant to talk about the abuse and remained very quiet during the interview.

Lindberg interviewed with detectives at the Faribault Police Department.  She admitted to using a belt and a paddle on the girl.  She also told investigators she had once used a ball gag on the child, but realized she had gone too far.

The paddle was located in Lindberg’s home.  Police say it contained handwritten instructions on how it was to be used on the girl.

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