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Mom accused of burning 4-year-old daughter with engraver tool

FARMINGTON (WGME) -- A Maine woman is in trouble with the law after allegedly burning her daughter on purpose.

Jessica LaPlante, 39, is charged with felony assault after police say she burned her four-year-old daughter with an electric wood engraving tool.

The Franklin County District Attorney is accusing Jessica LaPlante with a class C felony assault and the DA may bring more charges against her.

LaPlante is originally from Haverhill, Massachusetts, but now lives in an apartment complex in Stratton.

Sheriff's investigators arrested her after a detective interviewed the child, the girl's father, and LaPlante. The couple is divorced.

On Wednesday, Jessica LaPlante was in tears as she was brought in for her initial appearance at  the Franklin County Courthouse.

The judge found probable cause and set a $5,000 cash bail with the condition she have no contact with her daughter.

LaPlante is accused of using an electric wood engraving tool to burn her four-year-old daughter in the leg.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the child allegedly told her father that LaPlante burned her because she was "being bad".

The little girl also said, "She told me I deserved it," but friends and neighbors of Jessica LaPlante say they don't believe any of this is true.

"Jessica would never do this to her daughter. That is not Jessica. She's a loving mother. She takes amazing care of her daughter." Crissy Small, defendant's neighbor and friend, said.

"I saw no burns. I saw no marks on that child. And she had on shorts and a t-shirt when we brought her back to her dad who was at a BBQ and there was no marks." Barb Clark, defendant's neighbor and friend, said.

According to court documents, Jessica LaPlante repeatedly told investigators she didn't do it.

The child's father could not be reached for comment.

LaPlante's next court date is in four weeks.