May 10, 2012 -- Three children have been placed in foster care, and a Minnesota couple could face a year in prison for a punishment that went too far.
Stephanie Ann Broten, 38, and Darnell Alan Landrum, 34, were arrested Monday night after shaving their 12-year-old daughter's head and forcing her to run back and forth outside their Fridley home wearing nothing but a tank top and an adult diaper, according to the criminal complaint.
Broten, the girl's mother, and Landrum, her stepfather, told police they were punishing the girl for getting an F on her report card and failing to bring home school assignments, the complaint says. Broten shaved her head, and Landrum forced her to put on the diaper.
They call this punishment "diaper duty," police said.
"The mom and dad were laughing and joking even in the squad car," said Fridley Police Lt. Mike Monsrud. "They couldn't believe police were getting involved in this."
About 30 to 50 neighbors had gathered to watch the girl run back and forth, the complaint said. One of her classmates called out to her, but Broten told him to leave her alone. Alerted by a neighboy, police officers arrived to find the girl "hysterically crying," after having run the distance five times over 30 minutes.
As police escorted the girl to a squad car, an onlooker covered her with a baby blanket. The girl told police this was the third time her mother and stepfather forced her to do "diaper duty."
The couple was charged in Anoka County District Court Wednesday on one count each of malicious punishment of a child, the maximum penalty for which is $3,000 or one year in prison.
The two were released from from custody Wednesday afternoon, Monsrud said. The girl and her two siblings are currently in foster care.