Mother found not guilty, friend sentenced 10 years in Norfolk child abuse case


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A mother was found not guilty of her abusing her child on Thursday, while her friend was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for 2016 case. 

Police arrested Zatoryah Parker and John Rouse on August 7, 2016 and charged them both with one count of child abuse and neglect after Parker’s daughter suffered a shattered collarbone, broken bones in her arm, a liver laceration and bruises on her face and forehead.

Parker pleaded guilty, but was found not guilty. She was granted a finding under advisement for one year where she has to maintain good behavior, have no hostile contact with her child and complete parents classes. She will be back in court next year on May 31 for a status report. 

Rouse pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years with all but one year and 10 months suspended. He will have to maintain good behavior, indeterminate supervised probation, no contact with the victim, no unsupervised contact with any child under 18, including his own, and complete parenting classes.  

Court documents say the abuse happened Aug. 4 inside Rouse’s apartment at the West Beach Apartments on West Ocean View Avenue.

Investigators say Rouse “violently yanked the child on the bed” after the baby girl started throwing up. Parker told investigators Rouse was upset because he just washed his sheets, according to documents.

A few hours later, police say Parker sent Rouse a text message, that read, ‘I gota take [the child] to the emergency room like foreal.’

Despite the text message, investigators say Parker waited 16 hours to get her daughter medical attention.

Parker told officers her baby had been sick for one week but she attributed her sickness to teething, according to court documents.

Investigators say Parker was never able to give an explanation for her daughter’s facial bruising.

Parker was originally denied bond on Aug. 10, but was granted a $10,000 bond 15 days later at an appeal hearing, according to a spokeswoman with the Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney.

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