Charges: Woman beat young niece with belts, extension cords

TACOMA, Wash. -- A 41-year-old woman was arrested Aug. 1 after Child Protective Services learned she regularly beat her young niece with belts and extension cords, leaving severe bruises, according to charges filed Monday in Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, a neighbor contacted CPS July 29 after the 7-year-old victim told her that her aunt, Latrina McNair, had beaten her with an extension cord.

A social worker visited the Tacoma apartment where McNair lives with her mother, the victim and a handful of other children. McNair reportedly admitted to trying to discipline the victim in her normal way, by having the victim place her hands on a wall and hitting her in the buttocks with a belt.

The victim had severe bruises and a 1-inch, U-shaped cut on her arms. According to the charging documents, McNair denied hitting the victim anywhere but the buttocks, saying only that the victim ran around the house, jumping over furniture and slamming into walls, in order to avoid being hit with the belt.

The victim's grandmother reportedly told the social worker the victim got the cut on her arm from fighting with a boy in the apartment complex.

The social worker found the victim very tearful and withdrawn, and she seemed reluctant to talk. She did say that McNair "whooped" her with a belt, according to the charging documents.

The victim, her siblings and her cousin were placed into protective services. When the the victim learned she wouldn't be going home, she reportedly told the social worker she had been beaten with a belt on the legs, arms and chest. She said the cut on her arm was from the pointy part of the belt.

According to the charging documents, the victim's 9-year-old brother told the social worker they are disciplined by McNair and their grandmother by being hit with a wet belt or wet braided extension cord. He said he is usually only hit on the buttocks because he does not move or run like his sister does.

The victim's brother reportedly said his sister was most recently whipped with a wet belt for arguing with her cousin. He told the social worker McNair stopped when welts appeared on the victim and then made her take a bath with baking soda.

According to the charging documents, the victim's brother said his current injuries came from running into a picnic table.

McNair has been charged with assault of a child and is currently barred from any contact with the victim or the victim's brother.