It was a Belmont County criminal case that shocked the public.
Two women who offered to babysit a four-year-old girl for several weeks were arrested after the mother returned and discovered the child with severe bruises and burns all over her body.
Now, as one of the two women pleads guilty, it turns out there could be even more to this case.
25-year-old Devan Redman was to go to trial next week, but she suddenly decided to enter a plea.
“How do you plead?” asked Judge Frank Fregiato.
“Guilty,” Redman replied.
The charge is child endangerment, and there is a recently-revealed list of the child’s injuries.
“There were bruises extensively over her body, burn marks on her body, scratch marks around her vaginal area,” disclosed Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry.
That prompted investigators to look into whether this abuse was also sexual, so they seized electronics from the women’s home in Neffs.
“Those items are still being looked at forensically,” said Dan Fry. “If it turns out that there was something on there indicating some type of sexual abuse, then obviously those charges would come later.”
In the meantime, Redman will soon be sentenced for one count of child endangerment. For that alone, she could get eight years in prison.
For the prosecutor, it’s still a troubling case.
“You know, why was the child abused in this way?” said Fry. “I don’t get the burn marks and what have you. I mean what could a four-year-old be doing to cause just a continuation of what appears to be regular abuse. I don’t get why. Probably we’ll never know the answer to that. But fortunately the mom did come home, got the child medical care, and she’s doing fine now, as I understand it.”
Redman will be sentenced January 28. In the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped one count of drug possession Redman was facing.