Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Minnesota mom charged for not stopping fatal abuse of her toddler

Author:

The mother of a toddler who died while in the care of the woman's boyfriend has been charged with child endangerment, because authorities say she knew the man had been beating the child but did nothing to stop it.

Lia Pearson, 37, of Farmington, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County Court, the Star Tribune reports.

Pearson's boyfriend, Leb Mike Meak, 35, of Maplewood, was charged with second-degree murder in February for the death of 17-month old Genesis Xiong.

The girl had been staying with Meak, who was not her father, for a few weeks while Pearson was working long hours, she told police.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Meak, emergency responders found Xiong unresponsive and with bruises to her body and face after they were called to Meak's house on Feb. 12.

Preliminary autopsy reports show the girl died from multiple external injuries and internal injuries to the abdomen and head, KSTP reports.

According to the complaint, Meak told officers he “roughed her [the child] up a bit” while changing her diaper, and admitted shaking her a few times.

The charge against Pearson stems in part from police interviews with Meak's two sons, who said they had told Pearson numerous times that their father frequently beat the little girl.

Meak's 8-year-old son said his father hit Xiong "a lot," according to the complaint.

Pearson said she discounted the boys' reports of abuse, thinking that they resented having the little girl with them in their house, according to the Star Tribune.

Xiong also had visible bruises. Pearson said Meak told her the girl got bruised because she ran into things.

Pearson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that she trusted Meak to take care of her daughter.

"I knew she had bruises and injuries because I had asked Leb about them, and he told me she would bump into things," said Pearson. "I believed in him, and that was my downfall."

Pearson is scheduled to make her first court appearance on May 15.

Meak's case is pending. His next court appearance will be July 15, and his trial is slated to begin Oct. 26.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.

ambulance

Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.

ambulance

1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.

robbery

St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.

Related