Ore. woman faces charges in home circumcision

Ore. woman faces charges in home circumcision
Keemonta Peterson
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A woman accused of attempting to circumcise her baby at home using a box cutter and a pair of pliers faces assault and criminal mistreatment charges.

Keemonta Peterson, 29, of Portland, told police she decided to circumcise her baby at home after reading the Bible. She said she watched some YouTube videos about circumcisions before making the attempt in October, according to The Oregonian.

After the 3-month-old boy suffered two hours of uncontrolled bleeding, she called 911 and the baby was rushed to a hospital where he was initially listed in critical condition. The boy appeared to have recovered with no permanent injury.

According to the prosecutor, a doctor described the baby's condition upon arrival at the hospital as life-threatening, and the pain as immense.

The details emerged in a memorandum Deputy district attorney John Casalino filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court and obtained by The Oregonian. The document was filed to oppose Peterson's attempt to be released from Multnomah County jail.

Peterson had been locked up since her arrest March 8 and held on $550,000 bail. At a hearing Tuesday, the prosecutor tried to persuade a judge not to make it easier for Peterson to get out of jail pending trial.

But Peterson's attorney, Scott Raivio, argued her bail should be reduced. His arguments were supported by a Close Street Supervision deputy, who noted Peterson has strong family support and had been attending mental-health counseling three times a week before she was booked in jail.

Judge David Rees lowered Peterson's bail to $5,000. She posted $500 - the required 10 percent - and was released Wednesday to the supervision of the deputy.

She has been allowed to see her four children, who are staying with family members, during supervised visits. A trial was tentatively scheduled for June.

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