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St. Petersburg woman bound and beat boy, police say

By Leonora Lapeter Anton, Times Staff Writer
Published February 17, 2008


ST. PETERSBURG -- Police say Laura Etta Robinson, a 57-year-old retiree from St. Petersburg, dragged an 8-year-old boy out of his bed one night last week, tied him up and flogged him over the course of at least three hours.

Robinson of 3932 11th Ave. S was charged Friday with false imprisonment and aggravated child abuse. She remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Saturday with bail set at $120,000.

According to a St. Petersburg Police Department report:

Robinson went to the boy as he was in bed sleeping, wrapped his wrists in duct tape and dragged him into the living room. She tied his arms to a heavy coffee table with a bungee cord and placed duct tape around his legs.

She laid him face-down with his pajama pants down on top of an empty plastic trash bag so his urine wouldn't reach the carpet. Then she hit his behind over and over with what police described as a "long, black flexible object."

"As she was beating him, she rested in between, alternating from striking hard -- soft -- then harder and harder," the police report said. "As she was beating him, she repeated 'obey, obey' over and over again."

The incident reportedly occurred from about 11 p.m. Feb. 7 to 2 a.m. Feb. 8. The report did not provide the 8-year-old's relationship to Robinson.

The boy suffered injuries, the report said, but did not require medical treatment. The report also said police did not contact the Department of Children and Families for a child abuse or neglect investigation.