DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Mom Jailed Over Disturbing Photos Of Newborn Baby

Stripper, 21, took images to torment baby's father

The Scream

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Brittany Lester Plea

SEPTEMBER 20--A Florida woman who posed her newborn in a series of disturbing photos that she then texted to the baby’s father was sentenced this week to a year in prison for child abuse.

During a Circuit Court hearing Tuesday, Brittany Lester, 21, was also ordered to serve three years of probation in connection with the felony case. Lester, pictured in the mug shot at right, has been jailed since mid-March, after she failed to appear for a court hearing.

At the time of her arrest last August, Lester reported that she worked as a dancer at a topless club in Clearwater.

Cops learned of the troubling photos from the father of the five-week-old boy, according to police reports. The 22-year-old man told investigators that he had broken up with Lester, but that the two had agreed to “work together for the sake of” the baby.

However, the man reported, Lester got angry with him when she examined his cell phone and determined that another woman had been calling him. Soon after the man departed a motel room where Lester had been staying with the infant (and her three-year-old child), he began receiving disturbing photos sent from Lester’s phone.

Taken inside the motel room, the 13 images showed the diapered newborn in a variety of dangerous situations, according to a St. Petersburg Police Department report. For example, the child was seen squeezed between the mattress and boxspring; “lying inside a dresser drawer crying”; lying under the bed; sitting in the toilet; and inside the trash can (both sitting and upside down).

The child was not injured during Lester’s malicious photo session.

Most of the images sent by Lester were accompanied by threatening texts, though cops redacted the messages from documents released pursuant to an open records request. Police provided black and white photocopies of Lester’s photos, and placed a white box over the newborn’s face.

A police evidence photo (seen at left) shows the interior of the motel room where Lester staged the unsettling photographs.

When confronted by police officers, Lester “admitted to taking the photos. Lester advised she committed these actions to get a response” from the newborn’s father. As he received the photos, the man sent Lester a series of text messages in response, warning “I am sendid what u said 2 da police,” “Da police comein,” and “U going 2 jail.”

Following Lester’s arrest, her two children were placed in the custody of a Pinellas County child welfare worker. It is unclear who has been caring for the children since their mother’s collar. (5 pages)