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Winner woman arrested for striking, biting a 1-year-old and making him drink from a toilet

WINNER — A Winner woman faces a child abuse charge after law enforcement discovered bruises, bite marks and sores on a 1-year-old boy earlier this month.

According to court documents, 41-year-old Cathy Joseph was charged with child abuse for allegedly striking and biting an 18-month-old child multiple times and failing to seek medical assistance after the boy drank from a dirty toilet.

On Jan. 9, law enforcement officers were contacted by a Department of Social Services agent who discovered bruises and possible bite marks on an 18-month-old boy's face, hairline, arm, stomach, back and leg, court documents state. The boy's mother, Cassandra King, said she gave Joseph temporary custody of the boy.

Officers then contacted Joseph, who admitted to striking the boy, pushing him to the ground, hitting him with a shoe and shouting expletives when she was angry, according to court documents. She also allegedly told officers the boy has drank from a dirty toilet, which has caused sores on his face and feet, but she did not seek medical attention for the child.

Joseph denied biting the boy, but officers said the bite marks were too small to have been caused by another child.

Joseph said she takes care of several children and did not want the boy anymore, but his mother would not take him back, court documents state. She also allegedly admitted to sometimes drinking alcohol when she watches the children.

Joseph was arrested and charged with abuse or cruelty to a minor under 7-years-old, a Class 3 felony punishable upon conviction by a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

DSS placed the 18-month-old child in the custody of another person as an emergency placement for the boy's safety.