East Hampton woman arrested for seriously injuring her stepdaughter: police

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Felicia O'Brien

EAST HAMPTON – Police have arrested a woman after her stepdaughter was brought to the hospital on September 22 with severe injuries.

Felicia Marie O’Brien, 24, of East Hampton, was arrested Wednesday.

O’Brien’s stepdaughter, a 5-year-old, had severe bruising to her face that was so bad it swelled her eyes shut. Doctors said it was likely caused by forceful hair pulling or severe blunt force trauma to her face.

O’Brien told officers after the September incident that the child hurt herself by hitting her head on a bunk bed ladder because she has voices in her head. She also showed investigators two videos on her phone of the child hitting her own head on the bunk bed ladder, but court documents state that there were seven related videos on O’Brien’s phone and police think they were staged. They believe the videos that O’Brien didn’t reveal to them were “practice videos and outtakes.”

When officers spoke to the child about a previous incident in August, the 5-year-old told the forensic interviewer at Yale-New Haven Hospital the same thing–that voices in her head told her to hit her head on the ladder. Doctors at that time didn’t believe the child or O’Brien, but couldn’t do anything about it because the forensic interviewer did believe the child’s story.

Police are still unsure how the child was injured in either case.

O’Brien has been charged with risk of injury to a minor and intentional cruelty to persons. A judge kept her bond at $250,000 on Thursday.

O’Brien’s father, Leo Cote, spoke with Fox CT after his daughter’s court appearance.

“She didn’t do what she’s being accused of, absolutely not,” Cote said. “She’s petrified.  She feels like she’s been totally framed.”

Cote said investigators from the Department of Children and Families cleared his daughter. DCF representatives told Fox CT they couldn’t comment on case specifics.

O’Brien is expected to return to court next week.