Badly injured toddler tests positive for pot; mom charged

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Rae Cherl Lynn Chidesester By Catherine Holland Rae Cherl Lynn Chidesester By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa mom is facing felony child abuse charges after allegedly hitting her toddler while high.

Police arrested Rae Cherl Lynn Chidesester, 26, on Wednesday after learning her little girl had been admitted to Cardon Children's Medical Center with severe bruising and other injuries.

In his probable cause statement, the arresting officer said he saw the child and her face was "bruised and cut with fingerprint markings." He went on to describe additional bruising all over her body, "abdominal trauma that may require surgery," and a fractured wrist.

When asked by a forensic interviewer how she was hurt, the toddler said it was her mother.

The victim's 3-year-old brother told police his mother and her boyfriend beat him with a ruler and a belt. He also said they hit the victim with a belt.

Chidesester later admitted to police that she slapped the victim, leaving a handprint. She also said she "banged her head into a wall approximately six or seven times and kicked her in her buttocks" earlier in the week, according to paperwork.

Police said Chidesester also smoked pot around her little daughter. A toxicology screen on the girl came back positive for THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana.

Police talked to the child's uncles and the family's neighbors, who said Chidesester told them that the little girl fell in a bathtub.