Tempe woman accused of forcing girl to eat feces

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Nicole Renee Candelaria By Jennifer Thomas Nicole Renee Candelaria By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A Tempe woman is accused of forcing her boyfriend's 3-year-old daughter to eat feces as punishment.

Nicole Renee Candelaria, 27, was arrested Saturday and booked into the Tempe City Jail on one count of child abuse. A judge set her bond at $5,400.

Police said Candelaria lives with her boyfriend and often takes care of his three children while he is at work.

Court records show Candelaria became upset when the child defecated in the bathtub and she allegedly forced the girl to eat the excrement.

The girl's mother took her to a local hospital after the children told her what had happened. Doctors noted bruising on the 3-year-old's chest, back, sides and legs, according to court documents.

Police said Candelaria denied injuring the girl and denied making her eat feces.

Candelaria has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 28.