BELDING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Stanton mother is outraged after she says her friend abused her 1-year-old daughter while babysitting Saturday night.
Bree Rothman told 24 Hour News 8 that a friend she had known for five years babysat 1-year-old Amiyah and her twin sisters, Aaliyah and Aliveah, this past weekend.
“I dropped all three of them off Friday night and then I picked them back up Saturday morning. We had a birthday party for Amiyah. Then I dropped them back off Saturday night. When I picked them up Sunday night, Amiyah was covered in makeup. I didn’t notice anything until I went to give Amiyah a bath and when I took her clothes off, she had claw marks on her whole body, and I still didn’t notice anything on her face until I got her in the bath and it started washing off,” said Rothman.
Rothman said she went to the Belding Police Department and the hospital that night to have Amiyah checked out.
“I just assumed that her little boy had done it because I didn’t think she was like that, and then the makeup came off and I was like, ‘No little boy could have done this,'” Rothman said.
Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson said his department has been looking into the case and interviewed the babysitter Wednesday night. Ionia County Children’s Protective Services is also involved in the case.
Rothman told 24 Hour News 8 that she believes the babysitter isn’t telling the truth about what happened that night.
“None of her story makes sense and I have texts that prove everything that she’s saying is a lie, like what time I picked them up, what time I dropped them off. I have a text saying my kids covered Amiyah in makeup when she told the cops that Amiyah didn’t have any makeup on her face,” Rothman said. “I never would have guessed she would have done this. I would have never left my kids with her. Like, I can count on one hand how many people other than my kids’ family who have watched them. I don’t just leave my kids with any random person.”
24 Hour News 8 stopped by the home of the babysitter where Rothman said she dropped off her kids, but no one answered the door.
The babysitter called 24 Hour News 8 later Thursday evening and said that she did not hurt Amiyah, nor was Amiyah injured at her house. She said she has cooperated with authorities, who she met with Thursday.
The case has sparked a lot of outrage in the community and has spread to Facebook, where a group called “Amiyah’s prayer for justice” has been created. Rothman said a friend’s mother made the page.
Curt Benson, a Cooley Law School professor, said the social media aspect adds another troubling layer to the case.
“You start talking about innocent children, you talk about children getting hurt and you’re going to draw a lot of people. And possibly, but probably not, but the back of the police officer’s mind is going, ‘Oh great, now I’ve got this to worry about, maybe someone’s going to take the law into his own hands,'” Benson said.
The alleged abuse case remains under investigation.