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Woman enters plea in child abuse case

WILLMAR -- Shari Jo Jablonski, 26, of New London, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of third-degree assault for pushing a 6-year-old child into the bathtub, causing the girl to fall and break her collarbone.

Under a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony for malicious punishment of a child and a misdemeanor domestic assault charge will be dismissed. Jablonski entered an Alford plea to the assault charge. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but does acknowledge there is likely enough evidence for a jury to convict. Jablonski will also receive a stay of imposition on her sentence and will not be required to register as a predatory offender. She will be sentenced Feb. 25.

The charges were filed after April 3, when a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy was asked to contact a registered nurse at Fairview Northland Hospital in Princeton regarding a child abuse case. The nurse said a man had brought in a 6-year-old girl and that an X-ray showed the child had a fractured clavicle, or collarbone. The child said that Jablonski had pushed her into the bathtub and that she struck her head and shoulder. This had happened at Jablonski's rural New London home.

The man said he had picked up the girl from Jablonski, as he has weekend visitation rights, and they were on their way to another relative's home when the girl complained of pain in her shoulder. He said the child hesitantly told him about the incident and said that Jablonski said not to tell anyone or she'd be sent away or spanked. The local deputy had a Princeton police officer interview both and the information they gave confirmed the allegations.

During various interviews with investigators, Jablonski claimed the girl fell in the tub, but was fine. She later said she shoved the girl because the child and another child wouldn't stop fighting. She denied telling the girl not to tell anyone and confirmed that she didn't take the child to see the doctor.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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