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Judge Grants Gag Order in Juvenile Case of Step-Grandma Accused of Abuse

Sara Rae Walters of Oceola Township was arrested Friday on charges of 1st degree child abuse and torture.

On Monday, a local judge granted a motion that all parties and law enforcement involved be enjoined from talking about all substances in the case of Sara Rae Walters, a 34-year-old Oceola Township woman who was arrested Friday.

Brighton Attorney Christine Heckler, who is representing Walters in child protective proceedings in juvenile court, filed the motion for the gag order.

Walters, who faces charges of 1st degree child abuse and torture, will have two separate trials: a civil case in juvenile court and a criminal case in district court. She is accused of abusing her 3-year-old step-grandson on Oct. 21.

Heckler, frustrated by media coverage of her client, sent the following statement late Saturday: "...Sara Walters is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. There are facts pertinent to this case and the way that the investigation was conducted that will be appropriately addressed during the court proceedings in this matter. In the meantime, this case should not be tried in the media."

Police said that on Oct. 21, Walters' 3-year-old step-grandson was admitted to the University of Michigan Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and found to have more than 60 different injuries. After a three-month investigation, officials from the Livingston County Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau said its investigation offered evidence that the child suffered this abuse at the hands of Walters. No motive has been given.

There will actually be two child protective proceedings because of Walters' own biological children. It is standard prodedure to hold hearings on each child living in a household whenever allegations of child abuse are made.

On Monday, Walters filed to be represented in the criminal proceedings by a court appointed attorney.

stephanie pytlowanyj February 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Stuff like this just makes me physically sick.

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