(Stillwater, Okla.) -- A Stillwater woman -- who is on probation for conspiracy to break into her ex-husband's home and for possessing her mother's debit card without her consent -- was arraigned this week on a charge of abusing her 3-year-old son by repeatedly hitting him in the face with a belt.
If convicted of her latest charge, Anthea Elizabeth Bates, 26, could be incarcerated for one year to life and fined $5,000, according to court documents filed by prosecutor Mike Kulling last week.
She was arrested Sunday and released after posting $10,000 bond, a jail spokesman said. She has been ordered to return to court on July 25 with an attorney.
Her husband, Jessie J. Bates, 24, was sentenced last August to a seven-year prison term for two burglaries, but he could be released early on completion of the Bill Johnson Correctional Center's Work Camp under the judge's order.
The abuse of the couple's 3-year-old came to light after Anthea Bates admitted to her mother-in-law that she had hit the boy in the face with a belt sometime between May 20 and May 22, Stillwater Police Officer Jennifer Gripe alleged in an affidavit.
The mother-in-law said "she leaned down to give (him) a kiss on his face and noticed two large lacerations on the left side of his face," on May 22, the affidavit said.
Anthea Bates initially told her that a dog had scratched his face, but later she said that he had pulled down a curtain and when she stood on a table to put it back up, the table broke and she fell, the affidavit said.
Anthea Bates said that when she got up, she snapped and started hitting the boy with a belt, the affidavit alleged.
Her mother-in-law took pictures of the boy's face after discovering the lacerations, which appeared to be scabbed over, according to the officer's affidavit.
Asked when the incident occurred, "She said it was sometime between May 20, 2012 and May 22, 2012," the affidavit said.
The mother-in-law said she knew that was the time frame because when Anthea Bates had taken the boy to visit his father, Jessie Bates, at the Bill Johnson Correctional Center in Alva on May 20, he did not have marks other than a small scratch from the family dog, the affidavit said.
Anthea Bates' mother-in-law sent a picture of the boy's injuries to Jessie Bates in prison "and informed him what Anthea had told him," the affidavit alleged.
"Shortly after Jessie had been informed of the incident, he received a letter (in prison) from Anthea," in which she described falling on top of a toy box, which broke and cut open her knee, the affidavit alleged.
"So I came into our room and grabbed your belt and just started hitting him over and over and over again and when I was done, I was shaking," Anthea Bates allegedly wrote in a letter to her husband in prison.
Jessie Bates' mother said that her son said "the staff at the prison held the letter for 24 hours and called Jessie into an office to discuss it with him," the affidavit alleged.
She said that her son sent the letter to her and underlined the portion in which Anthea Bates allegedly told what she had done to the child, according to the affidavit.
"She said Anthea has only seen him twice since the incident," the affidavit alleged. She said that she has tried to keep the boy away from Anthea Bates as much as she can, the affidavit said.
"I could still see the marks on the (boy's) face from his injuries. They looked as though they remain as scars," the officer wrote in her affidavit.