EUSTIS — A Stratton woman is accused of burning her 4-year-old daughter on the legs with an electric wood burning engraver tool because she was “being bad,” Franklin County Sheriff’s Scott Nichols Sr. said Wednesday in a news release.

Detective Ken Charles received a referral from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday morning regarding a child abuse complaint.

The father of the girl, who is from Rangeley and is divorced from the child’s mother, brought his daughter to the family doctor with what looked like burns on her legs. The child told her father that her mother had burned her because she was “being bad,” Nichols said.

The family physician verified the wounds were consistent with burn marks, he said.

Charles interviewed the girl’s mother, Jessica Laplante, 39, of 42 Dead River Road, on Tuesday. He arrested her on a felony charge of assault and she was taken to Franklin County jail in Farmington, Nichols said.

A conviction on the charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

“It was discovered that the method used to burn the child was an electric wood burning engraver tool,” Nichols said.

The case will be reviewed by the Franklin County assistant district attorneys.

Laplante is being held without bail.

NOTE: This story has been modified since it was originally published to reflect the correct maximum fine. It was a reporting error.

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