By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia woman has pleaded guilty and, today, her longterm boyfriend was held for trial in a horrific case of child abuse that killed the woman’s four-year-old daughter (see related stories).
The mother points blame for the attacks on the boyfriend, but there’s evidence that the girl, Seanita Brown, was pummelled for days and weeks — perhaps even years — before she died from a ruptured liver last July.
The lacerated liver killed her, but injuries both old and new covered the girl’s from her head to her shin.
The mother, Josephita Brown, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mansalughter, and endangering her child. She says her boyfriend, Edward Golphin, did the physical damage — beating the daughter whenever he got mad at her mother.
Prosecutor Lorraine Donnelly says the mother has offered various explanations of why she allowed the beatings to continue: that she was afraid of the boyfriend, or that she was financially beholden to him.
“But she didn’t do what she should have done to protect her daughter,” Donnelly says.
The defense contends the mother did the beatings.
The little victim was also bitten repeatedly. Authorities say the bite marks match Golphin’s teeth.
There is also evidence that a daycare center raised concerns about a broken leg the girl suffered and Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services was contacted, weeks before the fatal beating. But Seanita Brown remained with her mother and her boyfriend.
Brown has admitted she lied to DHS about the injury. DHS, by policy, has declined comment based on confidentiality grounds.