SEEKONK, Mass. (TCD) -- Two women are being charged after a 4-year-old girl was hospitalized last month in critical condition due to suffering substantial burns all over her body.
According to Mass Live, Franzceska Gerome and her sister, Guilene Gerome, were arrested Saturday, Nov. 11, on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and permitting substantial injury to a child. Franzceska Gerome, the victim’s aunt, is also being charged with assault and battery on a child with substantial injury.
On Oct. 9, Seekonk Police responded to a home on Oak Hill Avenue and found the girl suffering from life-threatening burns. Investigators reportedly concluded she was wounded about 17 hours before police arrived.
WCVB-TV reports Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said the girl’s body was "in shock" by the time medics took her to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in critical condition. She is still in the hospital.
Franzceska Gerome allegedly told police the 4-year-old fell into a fire pit but was not in there for a long time, according to WCVB. Bristol County district attorney’s office prosecutors reportedly disagree because the victim’s injuries do not match the story.
Matthew Lopes, one of the prosecuting attorneys, reportedly said in court Monday, Nov. 13, "It’s more consistent not just medically but almost kind of where the burns were located, with being scalded with a liquid."
The girl reportedly told a Department of Children and Families official that Franzceska Gerome poured water on her.
According to WJAR-TV, Franzceska Gerome has a background in healthcare but allegedly told her sister the girl was fine.
Lopes said in court, "Her role as a nurse is an aggravating factor. It would have been clear and obvious to anybody who observed these injuries that this child was in need of immediate assistance."
Lopes reportedly argued Guilene Gerome "was told again the next morning she didn’t need medical intervention when being presented with the child while her skin was falling off."
The victim was reportedly at risk of a heart attack or cardiac arrest because there was such a big lapse between the time of the injury and medical treatment.
WJAR reports the 4-year-old has undergone several skin grafts and other surgeries.
Both women pleaded not guilty to the charges. Franzceska Gerome is reportedly being held without bail, while Guilene Gerome’s bail was set at $25,000. Guilene Gerome is not allowed to have contact with her child.