A Tahlequah mother accused of burning her baby with a flat iron used for hair-straightening has been formally charged in Cherokee County District Court.

Jodi Leann Rock, 19, is facing felony counts of child abuse by injury, and enabling child abuse by injury.

Rock allegedly admitted to investigators and Department of Human Services employees that she used her flat iron to burn the 14-month-old boy’s groin and legs.

Prosecutors say she also allowed her boyfriend, who hasn’t been charged with a crime, to care for the boy, even though she should have known the boy “would be placed at risk of willful or malicious injury.”

That injury occurred, prosecutors say, when the boy’s shoulder was broken.

Rock is being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $200,000 bond.

Affidavits filed in the case indicate Rock gave investigators several stories about the baby’s injuries, and blamed her boyfriend for some of them. The boy had multiple bone fractures, according to medical personnel, along with the burns.

While at a Tahlequah hospital, the infant appeared to be “glassy-eyed,” “withdrawn” and in “agony.”

He was later taken to a Tulsa hospital and placed into DHS custody.

Rock allegedly told investigators that the boy’s shoulder injuries may have been caused by “rough” playing, including when the child was thrown into the air and onto a bed.

Child abuse and enabling child abuse by injury are both punishable by up to life prison and/or a fine of $500-$5,000.


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