EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) – An East Lyme woman was arrested on several charges relating to child abuse on Tuesday morning.
Katie Ann Nichols, 36, was charged with one count of negligent cruelty to a person, one count of risk of injury to a child, and one count of reckless endangerment in the second degree.
She was arrested with a warrant related to the case by East Lyme police, according to the arrest report.
An arrest warrant obtained by News 8 said that East Lyme Police received a report faxed over from the Department of Children and Families regarding a 17-month-old male child. The report stated that DCF received a referral on Feb. 16 from Nichols’ therapist, which stated Nichols had told the therapist that she had slapped, strangled, shaken, and smothered the child.
The child was identified as Nichols’ son.
During an interview with police, Nichols’ told investigators, “that she has a history of yelling, hitting, violently shaking, and smothering her son with a pillow.”
She also told investigators that she struck her son on the stomach, “and the victim continued to cry until he finally settled down on his own.”
According to court documents, Nichols told investigators that she has violently shaken the victim and attempted to smother him with a pillow on more than one occasion.
When asked how many times Nichols put her hands around his throat, she told investigators, “maybe half a dozen to ten times, but he [the victim] never loses consciousness.”
The accused also stated that, in her childhood, “she had done the same thing to cats, as she does to her son,'” court documents read.
Court documents said that Nichols recalled that when she was six or seven years of age, “she put her cat in the clothes dryer and turned it on and placed another cat in a file cabinet and closed the drawer.”
According to court documents, the victim’s father was aware of the abuse, but Nichols said he “has done nothing to stop the behavior.” When questioned by police, the victim’s father did confirm he was aware of the abuse, but “he was never aware of the full extent to what was occurring between the accused and the victim.”
Nichols was given a $250,000 bond and appeared in court on Tuesday.
During her court appearance, Nichols’ attorney asked that she undergo a mental health evaluation and be put on a suicide watch.