The mother of five children beaten with a machete last week has been charged for failing to protect them, authorities said.
Latoya Richardson, 27, was charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect today and is being held at Palm Beach County Jail, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reports. The six children found at her suburban West Palm Beach home with Miky Tanguy Sinaise are in the care of the Department of Children and Families.
The children, ages 8 months to 8 years, had bruising and injuries from being beaten with the flat side of a machete, according to sheriff's office reports. Sinaise, 29, who is father to all but the 8-year-old, was charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect for those injuries, according to sheriff's office and jail records.
But their injuries showed healed bruising, an indication of past abuse as well, Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
When a deputy asked Richardson whether she could have left the home, Richardson said she could have. When asked if she did anything to help the children, she admitted she had not, Barbera said.
That admission led to the charges against her.
"She had knowledge it was wrong-doing. She had knowledge it was against the law," Barbera said. "She had a responsibility to protect her children and she did not."
Only the 2-year-old, the only female child, was unharmed, Barbera said. The 8-month-old had been kept in medical care for several days and showed signs of being choked, she said.
Richardson, who is mother to all of the children, was the person who called police when she found her children beaten Sept 7.
Court records also show that Richardson also filed a domestic violence complaint and a child support claim against Sinaise in 2005.