A Texas home nurse has been arrested after physically and mentally abusing a disabled and special-needs child on multiple occasions, police say.
Jessica Renee Fowler35, faces one count of injuring a child, elderly or disabled person with intent to cause bodily harm, according to online records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
Tyler Police Department officers arrested Fowler on Monday, March 7, and took him to the Smith County Jail. She was released later the same day after posting $200,000 bond.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Tyler CBS/CW affiliate KYTX, Fowler was serving as the victim’s night nurse, when she was filmed treating the child like a “rag doll.” The victim, who is functionally immobile and non-verbal, is said to have hip dysplasia and kidney failure.
The victim’s day nurse reportedly became suspicious of Fowler after noticing an injury to his victim’s dominant right arm. According to Tyler ABC/Telemundo affiliate KLTV, the nurse said he knew something was wrong when he saw the girl was not sucking her right thumb like she did most of the time. The nurse told the mother, who also reportedly noticed that her daughter’s right arm was simply “hanging limply by her side”. The mother and day nurse also reportedly noticed several bruises on the girl’s arm.
The day nurse reportedly examined the girl’s arm as the mother watched footage from a Nest surveillance camera she had set up inside her daughter’s bedroom. While viewing the tapes, the mother reportedly said she encountered several instances of Fowler physically abusing her daughter in a series of horrific ways.
The mother reportedly said she saw Fowler abusing her daughter “by tying her arm behind her back in bed, forcefully dropping her legs during diaper changes, which affected the child’s hips, and extending his arm on the mattress of the crib, placing a boppy pillow on the arm and pressing it forcefully to injure the child,” according to KLTV.
The recordings also allegedly captured Fowler “throwing the child from the bottom of the bed to the top of the bed” and “pushing the girl’s right arm behind her head and applying pressure multiple times,” according to KYTX.
In documents filed in Smith County District Court, police reportedly called the content of 45 of the total 53 videos “very disturbing.”
In addition to the physical abuse, Fowler also intentionally disconnected an alarm attached to the child’s heart rate monitor that is meant to alert caregivers when the child is in pain, distress or in need of medical attention.
Investigators reportedly said it was clear Fowler knew his behavior was wrong because of his alleged attempts to conceal from his mother what she was doing to the victim. In the videos, when the victim’s mother could be heard approaching the room, Fowler allegedly ‘rushed’ to the girl’s crib, detached her limbs and used the flashlight on her cellphone to s ensure that the ligatures left no visible marks.
Fowler reportedly told investigators that she had been a nurse for about six years and a registered nurse for about three years. The day nurse also reviewed the Nest recordings and reportedly told police that Fowler’s treatment of the little girl was ‘extremely rough and inappropriate’.
[image via Smith County Jail]
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