January 8, 2019
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Family
Division (NEG-127-17), (Hon. Tara J. Fentress, Magistrate
Judge), (Hon. Julie H. Becker, Reviewing Judge)
M. Spicer was on the brief for appellant C.R.B.
Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Loren
L. AliKhan, Solicitor General, Stacy L. Anderson, Acting
Deputy Solicitor General, and Pamela Soncini, Assistant
Attorney General, were on the brief for appellee District of
Imoisili, guardian ad litem for appellee H.R., filed a
statement in lieu of brief in support of appellee District of
Glickman and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Steadman, Senior
Appellant C.R.B. challenges the trial courts determination
that C.R.B.s daughter H.R. was a neglected child. We affirm.
where noted, the following facts appear to be undisputed. One
day in February 2017, C.R.B. became concerned when she saw
her daughter H.R., who was seven years old at the time,
talking to a stranger in a restaurant. C.R.B. told H.R. not
to talk to strangers, but H.R. continued to speak with the
stranger. C.R.B. then threatened to spank H.R. when they
C.R.B. and H.R. returned home, C.R.B. told H.R. to remove her
clothes in preparation for a spanking. H.R. did not comply.
C.R.B. then proceeded to hit H.R. C.R.B. testified that she
hit H.R. on the bottom with the palm of her right hand. The
magistrate judge, however, perceived inconsistencies in
C.R.B.s account of the incident. For example, C.R.B. first
testified that there was "no struggle" but then
acknowledged that H.R. was "wriggling around."
Additionally, C.R.B. initially testified that H.R. "fell
to the floor" during the spanking but later stated that
H.R. was "wriggling around while standing up" and
"never went to the floor."
According to C.R.B., at some point during the spanking, a
ring on C.R.B.s hand struck H.R. in the face. C.R.B. could
not recall whether the ring was on her left or right hand. As
a result of the incident, H.R. suffered a "purplish-red,
curved scratch and bruising along [H.R.s] upper cheek bone,
under her right eye." No ...