August 9, 2005

Emaciated US teen found in diapers, mother charged

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts woman who said she does
not believe in doctors was charged with child neglect after her
emaciated 13-year-old daughter was found at her home in diapers
and suffering from a life-threatening infection.

Deborah Robinson, 38, appeared in court on Monday to face
charges of child endangerment and wantonly and recklessly
permitting substantial body injury to a child under 14.

She could spend up to 7-1/2 years in prison if convicted.

Paramedics found the teen unresponsive and with no
detectable blood pressure on Aug. 3, a spokesman for the
Suffolk County District Attorney's office said on Tuesday.

The girl suffered an infection that may have festered for
up to a month after she botched an attempt to pierce her own
navel, spokesman David Procopio said. She eventually stopped
eating and moving, and lost control of her bowels as she lay on
a couch at her mother's home in Boston.

As the teen's condition worsened, Robinson put her in
diapers to soak up fluids oozing from her belly.

Robinson, a single, unemployed mother with no health
insurance, indicated she does not believe in doctors and told a
court psychologist that she feared a doctor would sexually
abuse the girl, Procopio said.