Foster parents facing child abuse charges in Missouri

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Little girl suffering bullying raises her palm asking to stop the violence in sepia color

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – A judge has found sufficient evidence for a southwest Missouri foster care couple to stand trial on charges that they abused a toddler in their care.

The Joplin Globe reports that Shawn and Stefani Stovall were bound over for trial Monday on single felony counts of child abuse. The Stovalls, both 41, began caring for the 2-year-old boy in May in Mount Vernon. Police and state welfare officials began investigating in July after a call to the state’s child abuse hotline.

Court records say the child’s biological mother noticed bruises on her son’s forehead, neck, chin, upper torso, sides, buttocks, legs, ears and genitals during a supervised visit. The boy was taken for an examination.

The couple’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email message from The Associated Press.

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