💢 The legal guardian of two young children has pleaded guilty to child endangerment

💢 One child, a nine-year-old girl, was starved and beaten with a spatula

💢 Another child was forced to watch the beating

GALLOWAY — An Atlantic County woman will spend five years in prison for the horrific abuse she inflicted on a nine-year-old girl in her legal care, according to officials.

Stephanie Gregory, 58, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child endangerment in court on Tuesday, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said.

The plea agreement comes just over two years since she was first arrested in May 2021. At the time, she was charged with other counts that were dropped as part of the deal including aggravated assault and heroin possession.

Along with serving five years in state prison, Gregory will also be ordered not to have contact with the children or their biological mother.

Stephanie Gregory
Stephanie Gregory (Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office)

💢 Girl starved could barely walk

In court, Gregory admitted to not feeding the nine-year-old girl in 2020 to the point that she suffered from malnutrition. According to prosecutors, the girl was found emaciated and barely able to walk. She was hospitalized for a week.

Authorities said that when the Division of Child Protection and Permanency removed the girl from Gregory's home in Galloway, they saw she was also covered in injuries.

Gregory used a metal spatula to strike the child, opening wounds and welts on her body, prosecutors said. She admitted to beating the nine-year-old girl while a six-year-old child watched.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21, 2023. New Jersey 101.5 has reached out to the prosecutor's office for an update on the children's current condition and guardianship.

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