Court dates set for couple accused of child abuse

December 2, 2019 | Courts

NEWKIRK — Initial appearances are set this week in Kay County District Court for Maren Elizabeth Zimmerman, 26, Sedgwick, Kan. and Aaron Dale Skaggs, 26, Blackwell.

Zimmerman is facing felony charges of cause, procure or permit injury or abuse to a child, conspiracy and child neglect. Skaggs, 26, Blackwell, is charged with child neglect, child endangerment permitting abuse and conspiracy.

Maren Elizabeth Zimmerman

Blackwell police officer Kayla Green reports that on Sept. 4 she was asked to investigate a report of child abuse. The child reportedly had multiple bruises on his arms. A Department of Human Services worker reportedly told police the child’s brother stated the bruises were caused by his step-mother grabbing and shaking him. The child was also reportedly locked in a room and not allowed to come out.

Police went to the residence to investigate.

Green reports the child’s room contained only a cot and a sleeping bag and that the child had a red bump above an eye. The child reportedly told the officer that he got the bruising when he tried to escape spankings and that the mark on the eye was caused by being hit with a paddle.

Aaron Dale Skaggs

The child also reportedly stated he hadn’t eaten that day and that he had been locked in his room “for forever.”

The child reportedly stated that sometimes he has to go to the bathroom in his pants.

Skaggs reportedly told officials that Zimmerman restrained the child for 30 minutes because he tried to put his head through a window and that the incident caused the bruises.

Skaggs reportedly told police the child was allowed to go to the bathroom every two hours but not in between. If the child was being punished, he would have to wait for punishment be over before he could use the restroom. Skaggs told police he didn’t take the child to school that day because he was too tired to drive. He also reportedly told police he forgot to take the child to a doctor appointment because the office didn’t make a reminder call.

Zimmerman arrived on scene and told police she grabbed the child’s arms to try and prevent self harm. She said the child throws himself into walls for attention. She denied hitting the child in the eye.

Zimmerman reportedly told police Skaggs would punish the child for lying by placing a bar of soap in his mouth and making him hold it for up to 30 minutes. Both Zimmerman and Skaggs are free on $2,500 bond.