Mom forces girl to undergo surgeries
A woman has been indicted on charges she forced her 7-year-old daughter to have unnecessary and potentially harmful surgeries and medical tests.
A Sussex County grand jury returned the single-count indictment Tuesday against Malinda Lugin on a child endangerment charge. Lugin, 36, persuaded doctors to perform invasive medical care on her daughter, and the girl even had a feeding tube installed in her stomach, prosecutors said.
Assistant Prosecutor Seana Pappas said at a June court hearing that Lugin abused her daughter from her birth in November 2007 through April 2014.
Authorities later determined the child was healthy except for a minor allergy to strawberries, Pappas said.
Prosecutors said the allegations constitute a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which involve caretakers who purposely harm a child in order to gain attention or sympathy.
Lugin, of Vernon, has been free on $20,000 bail since June 29. A message left for her attorney Wednesday wasn't immediately returned.
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