A 25 year old Battle Creek woman is being charged with abuse and assaults against twin sisters in her care.  She is the step mother of the children. Ashley Swartout has been arraigned on one count of first degree child abuse and an additional count of second degree child abuse.

The case developed after one of the 7 year old twin girls was taken by Swartout and her husband to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital earlier in the month.  Doctors reported the case to police after discovering many bruises and injuries to the girl. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports Swartout told investigating police she didn’t know what happened to her stepdaughter due to a medical condition that causes her to blackout at times.

Both twin girls told police about being abused in the past. A third child reportedly gave no indications of being assaulted. A preliminary exam has been scheduled for Swartout the middle of next month. She faces up to life in prison on the first degree abuse charge. She’s ordered to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.

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