SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sebring mother will not face prosecution after video surfaced online of a snake biting a one-year-old.
The Office of the State’s Attorney declined to take action following the investigation into the video.
The video was posted by 24-year-old Chartelle St. Laurent earlier this month, and shows her one-year-old child reaching for the snake. The snake then strikes her on her right thumb. A woman can be heard laughing in the background as the child begins to cry.
St. Laurent admitted to allowing the snake to strike the baby but told deputies she grew up catching and interacting with reptiles, and said she took the opportunity to expose the non-poisonous red rat snake to her child.
Detectives believed there was probable cause that St. Laurent violated the state statute on child abuse, but the state’s attorney said there was not enough evidence to prove the case to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.
“While we believe the actions were inappropriate and there was probable cause that what was shown in the video was child abuse, we recognize that there is a higher standard for actual prosecution of such a case and realize the State’s Attorney has the burden of proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Highland County Sheriff Paul Blackman said.
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