Prosecutors: Mom, aunt waited 17 hours before seeking help for Mass. girl who suffered severe burns

SEEKONK, Mass. — The mother and aunt of a 4-year-old Massachusetts girl are facing criminal charges after they waited nearly 20 hours to seek help for the child, who suffered severe burns last month, prosecutors said Monday.

Guilene Gerome, 38, the victim’s mother, Franzceska Gerome, 44, the victim’s aunt, both of Seekonk, were arraigned on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and permitting substantial injury to a child in connection with an incident last month that left the young girl with second and third-degree burns over large portions of her body, according to Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

Officers responding to a home on Oak Hill Avenue in Seekonk on Oct. 9 found the girl with life-threatening burns, and a subsequent investigation revealed that the suspects waited 17 hours before law enforcement or medical professionals were notified, prosecutors alleged.

“By the time the victim arrived at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, she was in critical condition,” Quinn said of the girl. “Her body was in shock due to the significant 2nd and 3rd degree burns that she was suffering from and her organs were not functioning properly, which put her at risk of cardiac arrest.”

The mother and aunt claim the girl was burned when she fell into a firepit, but prosecutors argued that a doctor’s report indicated her injuries were more likely caused by scalding liquid.

The child remains hospitalized more than a month later, but her condition has since stabilized, according to prosecutors.

Both women were arrested on Saturday. Franzceska Gerome faces an additional charge of assault and battery on a child.

Franzceska was denied bail, while Guilene was ordered held on $25,000 bail.

They are due back in court at a later date.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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