A Leola woman will serve a maximum Lancaster County Prison term for beating her young son with a belt, the latest of multiple allegations of past abuse involving her children.
Rebecca A. Souden will serve 1 to 2 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years of probation, according to the sentence ordered Monday by Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro.
A local jury convicted Souden in October of endangering a child and simple assault regarding the Jan. 16 beating at 27 Ethel Ave.
(See Twitter feed for her photo.)
Souden, 35, no longer has custody of any of her four children. Her guardian rights over the 6-year-old victim and another child are pending. She previously lost custody of two other children due to investigations involving social services.
In court, Totaro pointed to that history and Souden’s diminishing of her responsibility at trial, according to Assistant District Attorney Todd Kriner, who won the conviction.
Souden’s defense at trial was the belt beatings were a form of discipline; Kriner countered they were instances of criminal abuse.
East Lampeter Township police Detective Christopher Jones filed charges in the case.
Judge Totaro ordered that Souden’s jail sentence begin immediately.
A social worker at the 6-year-old boy’s school discovered the abuse after noticing welts on his face. Larger welts were then discovered on the boy’s buttocks. Police alleged Souden used a belt in those beatings.
The jury returned its verdict Oct. 1, after deliberating for about 30 minutes.
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