Appeal filed in child abuse case on Standing Rock Reservation

A woman who pleaded guilty to a child abuse incident on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison but is already mounting an appeal.

Velnita Jolette Hairy Chin, 43, admitted that she did "abuse, expose, torture, torment, and cruelly punish" an Indian child under the age of seven. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota, she left her infant son strapped into a car seat in her home and acknowledged he suffered an injury in her care.

"Initially Hairy Chin denied that anything was wrong with him, but later admitted that he was dropped the previous day but claimed he was now fine," the office said of the June 2015 incident.

Hairy Chin was sentenced on January 4. Her federal public defender filed a notice to take the case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hairy Chin has 12 prior child abuse convictions, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Mother’s 13th conviction for child abuse or neglect lands her behind bars (Forum News Service 1/11)

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