A Waukesha School District employee has been suspended after she was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with physical abuse of a child and child abandonment. The alleged incident involved a relative and did not occur at the school, according to the criminal complaint.
Sharon Walker, 40, of Waukesha, was employed as a special education aide at Banting Elementary School at the time of the incidents.
The Waukesha School District will conduct an internal investigation into the incidents and Walker, according to Director of Human Resources Christine Hedstrom.
“At this point it does not appear to have to do anything to do with the schools,” Hedstrom said.
Walker faces up to 50 years in prison and $125,000 if convicted of the two felony charges.
According to the complaint:
The physical abuse was discovered after Walker tried to terminate her guardianship of a 14-year-old boy. The boy told authorities in November that on Oct. 23 that Walker had tried to hit him in the face and that she hit their house instead. Walker continued to try to hit him and scratched him in the face. The boy told investigators he grabbed Walker’s arms, which is when she bit him.
A medical exam that was conducted at the C.A.R.E. Center lead authorities to find scars on the boy’s body that were consistent with being hit by a belt or a cord. The boy told investigators then that he was abused over a period of time.
The boy told police he had previously lied about his scars, saying that he had fallen off a bicycle. The boy told authorities that Walker had whipped him with chords, choked him, punched him, thrown him down the stairs, hit him with poles and threatened to stab him and the rest of his family with a knife. That abuse happened between ages 10 and 13, he told authorities.
Police contacted Walker, who told them that the boy was disciplined but not abused. She denied leaving marks on the boy. However, she admitted she has hit the boy and two other children with her hand or a belt.
The abandonment charges stem from a incident on Oct. 25 when Walker woke up the boy in the middle of the night and drove him to Chicago to his mother’s home, the boy told police. The boy’s mother was not home, so Walker took him to a police station across the street.
Walker asked the Chicago police officers if she could leave the boy at the station, but they told her she couldn’t because she was the legal guardian. Later, the boy’s mother came home but the mother said he could not stay with her. Walker went to her car and left the boy in Chicago.
The boy told authorities he was unable to stay at his mother’s house, so he walked across the street to the Chicago police station. Chicago police filed a report on child endangerment and connected the boy with another relative where he could stay for a week.
When the boy returned home to Walker’s house, he discovered that Walker had cut up all his clothes when he was gone.