Malnourishment Concern Leads to Child Neglect Charges
By Jacob Mathias
After her child was observed with significant weight loss, a Stevens Point woman has been charged with felonious child neglect causing bodily harm.
Bonny Jezeski, 33, is charged with felony child neglect where the consequence is bodily harm. If convicted, she could see up to a $10,000 fine, six years imprisonment or both.
According to court documents, Stevens Point police were called to a local elementary school last September after an employee reported concerns over an eight-year-old girl described as being special needs and with “significant physical limitations”.
The detective met with school staff who reported the victim appeared to have suffered considerable weight loss since the last day of school a few months before. At the time of the report, the victim was weighed in at 27.09 pounds. According to the complaint, a school nurse reported the child’s bones were protruding more than they had been and her ribs and spine were very evident.
Another school staffer said the victim could previously pull herself up to a standing position but could no longer. She also said the child was previously able to support herself in her wheelchair much more than she could at the time of the report.
Detectives were present at St. Michael’s hospital with the defendant as the child was examined by a doctor. The doctor reported the victim’s stomach appeared distended and her condition was serious. The victim was transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield for further treatment.
During the doctor’s examination Jezeski said she hadn’t noticed any changes in the victim and she thought she was fine. She said the victim hadn’t been to the hospital since May 2015 when she was weighed in at 31 pounds. The defendant also said she fed her child Ensure and Pediasure through a sippy cup and supplemented that with yogurt, fruit and chocolate or almond milk.
After the girl spent a week at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the detective noticed a marked improvement in the girl’s appearance, and her weight was reported to have increased to 29.66 pounds.
The girl’s doctors also told the detective the mother had been inconsistent with the information she’d provided the medical professionals at previous appoints, regularly missed the girl’s scheduled appointments and regularly did not administer the correct dosage of the girl’s prescribed medications.
On September 21, police executed a warrant on Jezeski’s home and found various prescription medications for the victim’s growth and digestion, though the dates and amount of prescription left indicated they were not being administered properly. A pharmacist and social worker later confirmed there was more of the medication, particularly an injectable growth hormone, than there should have been.
When questioned, Jezeski said she “occasionally” missed giving the victim her growth hormone shot if she was sick. She also said that she’d refilled the prescriptions regularly but put the new medications into the old dated bottles. When asked about missing the victim’s doctor appointments, the defendant said she wasn’t aware of them.
Further investigation into prescription and hospital records revealed that the defendant had not been administering medications nor attending scheduled doctor’s appointments on a regular basis. A doctor’s examination on September 15 revealed the victim was dehydrated and in a malnourished state.
Following another exam on October 15, a doctor reported the girl was not being provided appropriate nutritional and medical support while in the care of her family and she was a victim of nutritional neglect.
Jezeski makes her initial appearance in Portage County Circuit Court on May 31 a 1:30 PM.