Florida woman learned that her daughter, 13, was not a virgin and had sex with the mother's boyfriend, then she asked someone to pierce the girl's genitalia to make sex unpleasant.
The girl, who was 13 at the time, testified Wednesday that her mother in 2004 asked a tattoo artist friend to shave the daughter's head to make her unattractive to boys and later held her down during the piercing.
"She was trying to protect me, but it hurt me," the girl testified in her mother's trial on two counts of aggravated child abuse. "It not only hurt me physically, but it hurt me mentally.... That's emotionally scarring. That's physical abuse."
Prosecutor Steve Maresca said the 39-year-old woman called on a friend to shave the girl's head and do the piercing after realizing that she had been having sex including with the mother's boyfriend.
Defense attorney Donald Day argued the mother had trouble with her rebellious daughter and that the girl agreed to the piercing to help rebuild her mother's trust.
"It wasn't torture or extreme violence," Day said. "It was, in the young girl's words, to try to save her. ... That decision was a last-ditch effort. In my client's mind, she had no other options."
Child welfare officials were called after the girl became infected from the piercing.
Judges have rejected two proposed plea agreements as too lenient. The mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter's identity, faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
Tammy "Tattoo Tammy" Meredith, 43, who did the piercing in her home, was sentenced to a year in jail for her role. An arrest warrant has been issued for the mother's boyfriend for allegedly having sex with the girl.
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