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UPDATE: Deputy allegedly confessed to whipping child with belt

Posted: 11:10 AM, Sep 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-12 17:46:22-04

A Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s deputy is on paid administration while simultaneous investigations are made into allegations of cruelty to a juvenile.

Cassina Mertell, 26, was booked today with cruelty to a juvenile, LPCC records show.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s office says she is on paid administrative leave. Mertell was booked by Lafayette City Police, but the LPSO is conducting an internal investigation as well, the spokesman said.

Records filed at the time of Mertell’s arrest state that police were called by child protection workers to investigate a complaint that a child had been whipped with a belt. The victim’s teacher told police that the child was punished for lying – but the child was telling the truth. Detectives found severe bruises on the child, the records say.

When interviewed, Mertell allegedly confessed to hitting the child 8 to 9 times.