A Prince George's County police officer was indicted on child abuse charges after prosecutors say he spanked his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, causing him to fall unconscious.
Officer Francesco Marlett, 26, was indicted on charges of child abuse and assault, State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in a statement Tuesday.
Prosecutors say that on Dec. 27, Marlett was watching his girlfriend's 3-year-old son while she was making dinner. The child soiled the bed and Marlett began to spank him, causing the toddler to hit his head against the wall and lose consciousness, prosecutors said.
Marlett was giving the boy CPR when his mother entered the room and saw what was happening, according to prosecutors.
The child was taken to Children’s National Medical Center, where he was treated for a concussion and a bruise above his eye.
“There is no excuse for Officer Marlett’s actions,” Alsobrooks said in her statement. “No matter what may have happened, striking a defenseless child and causing this type of injury is never acceptable.”
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Marlett, who has worked for the department for three years, was suspended without pay. His police powers were suspended with pay in December.
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“This incident shows family violence affects people in every profession, in all walks of life,” the police chief said in a statement. “The issue of family violence is one we are committed to preventing.”
Marlett is due in court May 20. Information on his lawyer was not immediately available.