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Sonora Woman’s Child Abuse Conviction Reduced To Misdemeanor

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Sonora, CA – A Sonora woman found guilty of felony corporal injury to a child by a jury had that conviction changed to a misdemeanor by the court, to the objections of the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office.

As reported here in May of last year, 31-year-old Lili Powell was arrested for suspected felony child abuse after Sonora Elementary School officials reported a 7-year-old girl came to school with bruising to the front and back of her ear.

District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke detailed that the girl stated in two separate interviews that the bruising was caused by repeated “smacks” to her head by Powell while they were driving in the car together. Jenecke added that Powell provided two different explanations as to how the injury happened, neither of which included any involvement by her.

During the trial, the girl, now 8 years old, testified, and the jury convicted Powell of felony corporal injury to a child. Jenecke noted that Powell gave a third explanation of how the child received the injury, again denying any involvement.

At Powell’s sentencing last Thursday, Judge Kevin M. Seibert reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor. Jenecke stated, “The Court did not provide an explanation as to the basis for reducing the charge to a misdemeanor but did indicate that the court believed it to be misdemeanor conduct after hearing the evidence.” She added that prosecutors had opposed the charge reduction because of Powell’s repeated denial of any wrongdoing and lack of accountability.