MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Alisha Newman, 34, a licensed nurse in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is charged in Milwaukee County with child abuse. She is accused of exposing a 10-year-old girl to harm by allegedly indicating the child had medical ailments the child did not have, and demanding treatments that would only make the child sicker.
Newman faces the following criminal charges: Physical abuse of a child - recklessly cause great bodily harm; Neglecting a child - consequence is great bodily harm.
According to the criminal complaint, Newman brought the girl to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on May 7 in a condition that was life-threatening, a condition prosecutors said was caused by Newman herself.
During the child's hospitalization, the complaint said Newman told medical staff the girl was “diagnosed with dysautonomia, muscular dystrophy, mitochondrial disease, hypertension and hypotension, and severe dysmotility.” The child was confirmed to have a pacemaker on her heart, a port to receive IV fluids and a feeding tube.
The complaint indicated medical staff at Children's knew of this child from previous visits. Court records indicated the child was tested in November 2016 as well as October 2017, and no evidence was found to support a “diagnosis of muscular dystrophy or mitochondrial disease.” As the complaint said, the “test results, which were negative, were also communicated via email to Newman.”
Doctors did a thorough review of the child's medical records and indicated there was a “concerning pattern of conduct on the part of Newman, who has routinely provided false or misleading information to medical providers rendering medical treatment to (the child).” The complaint indicated Newman had done this in multiple states, including Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina and Tennessee. A doctor indicated the girl was “being misdiagnosed and was undergoing multiple unwarranted medical procedures, many of which posed risk to (the child's) life.”
Newman's alleged behavior is often known as Munchausen by proxy.
An arrest warrant was issued for Newman on May 26. She made her initial appearance in court on Tuesday, May 28. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 7. Cash bond was set at $50,000, despite the defense arguing for he release on signature bond.