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No contact order issued for Utah mother accused of abuse

Jennifer Christin Worzalla
Jennifer Christin Worzalla
Davis County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A West Point mother accused of abusing her children has been ordered to have no contact with anyone under 18 pending the outcome of her criminal proceedings.

On Tuesday, a no contact order was issued as a pretrial conference was set for Jennifer Christin Worzalla, 32.

Worzalla is charged with child abuse, a second-degree felony; and two counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.

On Aug. 15, Davis County sheriff’s deputies were called to Worzalla’s house after neighbors reported a 10-year-old girl was running away from the home yelling “don’t hurt me” to her mother, according to a Davis County Jail booking report.

Investigators noted in a search warrant affidavit released Wednesday that “There is an extensive history of abuse and neglect at this residence.”

One neighbor who called 911 reported that she had had a note passed to her from the 10-year-old girl. The girl gave the note to her 7-year-old brother who gave it to the neighbor, according to the warrant.

“The note said the child had been hit with a cord which had left marks and ‘has blood.’ The note asked the reader for help and indicated that the child was scared,” according to charging documents.

When deputies arrived at the house, they made contact with the girl through a basement screen window. She “told the officers that she was trapped in the room with no food or water or access to a bathroom. The officers made entry into the home and found the door to the room where (the girl) was located to be tied shut with rope and bungee cord,” the charges state.

When interviewed, the girl told officials about several incidents of abuse, including being “smacked” with a phone cord, locked in the room and being suffocated by a mattress, according to charging documents.

“She also said the defendant was poking at her with a knife, but that she was able to dodge it. (She) further disclosed that she has seen the defendant kick and bite her sibling (22-months-old),” the charges state.

The girl’s 7-year-old brother told investigators that Worzalla “hits and kicks him all over his body except for his face,” and that she bit the 22-month-old, the charges state.

Additional incidents of alleged abuse were revealed in the search warrant affidavit Wednesday.

“It was also reported that the children have to eat ‘sriracha sauce’ when they are in trouble, have been struck on prior occasions and are left without food, asking neighbors for food,” the warrant stated.

“There is a prior allegation of Jennifer harming her 7-year-old son with boiling water. When this was investigated prior, she stated it was from a sunburn. The 7-year-old made statements to his grandparents that it was boiling water that injured him,” according to the booking report.

Worzalla was recently arraigned in court and entered a not guilty plea. In addition to the no contact order, she was ordered on Tuesday to get a mental health evaluation and comply with any recommended treatment, according to court records.

A pretrial conference was scheduled for Sept. 19.