A Putnam County foster mother was arrested Tuesday after video surfaced of her forcing a child’s head into a toilet.
Lynn Marie Smith, 56, of Possom Point Drive in Eatonton, is charged with child cruelty in the first and third degrees and battery, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said.
The sheriff’s office received an anonymous call Monday about alleged abuse and an email followed with video attached, he said.
The email explained the video was of Lynn Smith and a foster child and stated in part: “she abuses them daily and nobody will do nothing, she withholds food from them and makes them stay in rooms or outside all day. Y’all been there already and the kids are still being abused. This is torture and she needs to be prosecuted.”
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After the sheriff’s office alerted the Division of Family and Children Services, representatives removed a family of five foster children from the home, Sills said.
The children’s mother has been incarcerated in the Putnam County Jail since June 17 after her probation was revoked in a shoplifting case, Sills said.
The sheriff did not know if the mother’s arrest was related to the children being in foster care.
Smith posted a bond of about $4,000 and was released from jail Wednesday.
Sheriff’s investigators are looking into Smith’s history to determine whether there is a pattern of abuse.
“DFACs doesn’t allow corporal punishment on any of their foster kids, but that’s not a crime,” Sills said.
The battery and first degree charge of child cruelty involved the alleged act of forcing the child’s head in the commode and the third degree charge references a 14-year-old who witnessed and videotaped the incident, Sills said.
“Right now, there is not any evidence of any other crime,” Sills said.
The incident report noted Smith also was accused of abusive language and making threats.
Smith could not be reached Thursday afternoon at the number listed for her on the report.
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