Courts & Crime

13-year-old boy charged in assault of 22-month girl in Bradenton

BRADENTON — A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in the beating and possible rape of a 22-month-old girl at a Bradenton home day care, police officials said Monday.

Detectives arrested the boy on an aggravated child abuse charge; the owner of Our Kids Daycare, 21-year-old Heather Elizabeth Lovett, has been arrested on a charge of child neglect. Lovett declined comment Monday evening.

Police say Lovett cared for five children, ranging in age from 10 months to 4 years old, in the home day care at 1420 16th St. W.

Last Wednesday, she left the house and left the children in the care of the 13-year-old, who is the son of her boyfriend. Later, at around 5:30 p.m., police were called to Manatee Memorial Hospital, where a father had taken his 22-month-old daughter after picking her up from the day care.

When police arrived at the hospital, the child had multiple bruises and dried blood on her ears.

An emergency room doctor determined that the child had been punched, choked and sexually assaulted, according to Bradenton police reports. The parents of the child said they had been taking their child to Lovett’s day care for a few months and their daughter had no injuries when they dropped her off that morning.

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