Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Whitewater couple facing child abuse charges

by Rob Ireland

June 21, 2012

Kristina Kirkpatrick
Robert Kirkpatrick
ELKHORN — A Whitewater couple allegedly forced a 3-year-old girl to walk around without clothes and take cold showers after she had potty-training accidents.

Kristina A. Kirkpatrick, 29, has been charged with two counts of physical abuse of a child by intentionally causing great bodily harm. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years imprisonment and $20,000 in fines. She also faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Robert D. Kirkpatrick, 33, faces felony charges of physical abuse of a child by intentionally causing great bodily harm and physical abuse of a child.

The felony charges carry a maximum penalty of 9-1/2 years imprisonment. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint:

A 15-year-old boy told police about an incident when the 3-year-old girl had a potty-training accident and Robert forced her to take a cold shower.

During this incident, the girl screamed and attempted to get out of the water. When she was removed from the water, she kicked Robert. After kicking Robert, he held her down and ordered another child "to get the spoon."

After retrieving a spoon, the 15-year-old said Robert hit the 3-year-old girl "really super duper hard" with it. Robert than sent the girl to bed without clothes and without drying off.

The 15-year-old told police that Robert and Kristina were attempting to potty train the 3-year-old girl. Their method of potty training involved removing all of the girls clothes and locking her in a room for a long period of time.

The 15-year-old also said it was common punishment for the parents to force the 3-year-old to walk around naked if she had an accident. After two days, the girl would receive either underwear or a diaper to wear. After two more days she would received a shirt and after two more days she would receive pants.

The 15-year-old described another incident when Kristina hit with closed fists, "just like King Kong," on his head about five or six times. The boy said Kristina consumed an entire bottle of alcohol prior to this incident.

The 15-year-old described yet another incident when Robert hit him in the head. The next day, the boy asked Robert why he hit him. Robert responded that a 13-year-old had been getting in a lot of trouble lately and he didn't want the 13-year-old to feel bad for being the only person getting in trouble.

On May 24, police executed a search warrant on the home and found numerous marijuana pipes in a safe. Robert told police the drug paraphernalia belonged to him.