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Florida woman accused of cruelty toward a child after allowing snake to bite her infant daughter (w/video)

Times staff and wire reports
Published: June 6, 2017 Updated: October 22, 2018 at 12:16 PM
A Highlands County woman is under investigation after apparently posting a video on Facebook showing a red rat snake biting her 1-year-old daughter. [Photo from video]

SEBRING — A woman has been accused of cruelty toward a child after putting a snake in front of her infant daughter and letting it bite the child, WTSP, Channel 10 reports.

The affidavit will be forwarded to the State Attorney's Office, which will decide whether charges will be filed, the station reports, citing Highlands County sheriff's deputies.

According to a probable cause statement, Chartelle Geanette St. Laurent, 34, said she had seen poisonous snakes on her property before, so she decided to expose the child to a snake.

Earlier, the woman apparently posted a video on Facebook showing her putting a red rat snake in front of her 1-year-old daughter. The woman can be heard laughing as the child is crying after being bitten in the thumb. She has since deleted the video.

She told WFTS, Channel 28, she has no regrets for "introducing" the girl to the snake, which she found in the driveway of her home near Sebring. She says "people are too sensitive."

She says the snake bit her and her daughter several times and "didn't leave a mark." She thought it was a good opportunity to "introduce" the girl to the snake without her getting hurt.

She says it's important to teach her kids how to handle wildlife and what to avoid.