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Second person charged in New Port Richey toddler abuse case

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 2-year-old boy who had his nipples ripped off didn't get medical treatment for at least four days, authorities said.

Tina Renea Kline, 25, told investigators that her boyfriend — Thomas Matheson, 28 — told her on Nov. 16 he injured the boy, a Pasco Sheriff's report States. But Kline and Matheson never took the child for medical treatment or reported the injuries, authorities said. The child's grandparents reported the abuse on Nov. 20 and the toddler was taken to Morton Plant North Bay Hospital, where doctors said the skin was unlikely to grow back, the report states.

The relationship between Kline and Matheson to the child was not disclosed by authorities.

Matheson was arrested Nov. 20 and charged with child abuse. He told investigators the injuries happened when he was "playing rough" with the boy. Kline was arrested Tuesday and charged with child neglect causing permanent disfigurement.

Matheson and Kline, both of 7280 Broadmoore Drive in New Port Richey, are being held at the Pasco jail. Both declined interview requests Wednesday by the Times.

Second person charged in New Port Richey toddler abuse case 11/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 3:20pm]
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