Gainesville woman charged with child abuse

Published: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 9:57 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 9:57 a.m.

A Gainesville woman has been charged with abusing two children in a case that began in July with an anonymous — and inaccurate — tip to the Department of Children and Families.

On Wednesday, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office arrested Alice Nicole Kirksey, 37, of 6900 SW 21st Lane, on two counts of child abuse.

According to court records completed by Detective Jeffrey Fricker, Kirksey was babysitting a 7-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy last summer while their mother was running errands.

On July 28, an anonymous caller told DCF that one of the children got a black eye while in Kirksey's care. During medical exams the next day, medical workers did not find any evidence of a black eye on either child, Fricker wrote in his report. However, they did note that one of the children had abnormally red eyes.

The medical team also found seven marks on one of the children. Fricker said the children told investigators about beatings with a switch or a belt. Medical experts told investigators the injuries inflicted are likely to leave permanent scars.

Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said the children also said Kirksey put her foot on the girl's throat and choked her. Medical experts told investigators the severe choking caused a subconjunctival hemorrhage that caused the abnormally red eyes.

During an interview with Fricker, Kirksey denied being abusive and said she disciplined the children by putting them in time out. Fricker also wrote that Kirksey did not respond to two offers to take a polygraph test.

Kirksey was being held at the Alachua County jail on Friday. Her bond was set at $50,000.

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