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O.C. mother booked in child beating, starvation case

June 24, 2010 |  4:27 pm
Cheryl StuartA Santa Ana mother has been booked on suspicion of beating, starving and tying up her two small children so that she could sleep better at night, police said Thursday.

Cheryl Ann Stuart was arrested Wednesday night after police responded to a call from her landlord and found her two emaciated boys, ages 2 and 5, with bruises across their bodies, swollen limbs and bumps on their heads, the Santa Ana Police Department said.

Stuart had been renting a room at a home in the 1400 block of North Parsons Place.

"She admitted that she had been striking the children, but she didn't think she was hitting them that hard," Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Stuart had tied the children to their crib and bed with ace bandages and shoelaces so "she could sleep well" and not worry about them running around, according to Bertagna.

Stuart was being held at the Santa Ana jail in lieu of $100,000 bail and was booked on charges of willful cruelty to a child with possible injury or death and inflicting injury upon a child, police said.

Detectives are investigating the case and will forward their findings to the Orange County district attorney.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: Cheryl Ann Stuart. Credit: Santa Ana Police Department