A Wisconsin woman is accused of child abuse after she was caught on camera shoving cotton swabs into her 14-month-old son’s ears.
Jenna Schumacher, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, allegedly caused her son's ears to bleed and ruptured his ear drums, which could lead to long-term hearing problems, the Daily Mail reports.
The mother reportedly told investigators that she harmed her son after she broke up with the child’s father. Schumacher told them “she can’t stand to look at (the child) because he looks so similar to his father.”
According to the complaint, the 26-year-old woman took her son to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin so a doctor could treat his ear injuries.
The Associated Press reports that doctors found no medical reason for the injuries, but discovered a piece of a cotton swab in the boy’s ear.
Schumacher returned to Children’s Hospital with her son last Friday and denied putting anything in his ears. But hospital video shows her jamming her fingers as well as Q-tips inside of them.
The criminal complaint also states that Schumacher’s son was seen in the footage crying and struggling.
“[Schumacher] violently forces the Q-tip into (the child’s) right ear multiple times. (The child) is seen crying, struggling, kicking his legs and trying to get away from the defendant,” the complaint indicates.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke called the woman’s actions sadistic.
“It turns my stomach,” Clarke told WTVR. "It sickens me. It makes you shudder to think someone would take a blunt object and shove it into your ear canal. It sends chills up your spine. The child tried to resist, but what’s a 14-month-old going to be able to do? This kid is probably going to grow up now with a hearing defect because of this."
“She appeared to be a loving mother and good friend,” Jessica Meyer, one of Schumacher’s friends, said.
Schumacher faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines if convicted of the abuse.