Teacher accused of hitting her 6-year-old child arrested, put on leave

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Child Abuse Generic

Willamina, OR (KPTV) — A middle school teacher accused of hitting her 6-year-old child in the face was arrested and put on leave from her job.

Heather Hughes, 37, of Willamina, was booked in the Yamhill County Jail just before midnight Friday on charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment and third-degree assault. Police said Hughes, a teacher and coach at Willamina Middle School, struck her child on April 29, causing an injury to the child’s face.

Investigators said it happened in a car on the way to their home. The case was referred to the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office by the Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division.

Deputies said they would not interfere with the ordinary discipline of a child, unless the physical contact rises to the level of a crime.

Willamina School District Superintendent Gus Forster said Hughes has been placed on paid leave, pending the outcome of her court cases.Hughes is a language arts teacher.

She posted bail a few hours after her arrest and is scheduled to be arraigned in court May 8. Hughes has no previous criminal record.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Detective Nicole Rickles at 503-434-7506 or ricklesn@co.yamhill.or.us.

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