A Sebring, Florida, mother is possibly facing criminal charges after she allegedly put a snake in front of her 1-year-old child and allowed it to bite her.
According to a charging affidavit obtained by WTSP, Chartelle Geanette St. Laurent, 34, claimed she wanted to expose her daughter to snakes because poisonous snakes have been on the property before.
The video seems to show the 14-inch red rat snake biting the toddler on her right thumb. St. Laurent can be heard laughing as her daughter starts to cry. Despite her reaction, the child wasn’t seriously injured by the bite.
St. Laurent told authorities that she let the snake bite her first to ensure it wouldn’t harm her daughter. She claimed she laughed because she was surprised that the snake had bitten the tot, the affidavit also revealed.
In an interview with WFTS, the 34-year-old claimed the snake was “harmless” and its teeth were too small to puncture the skin.
“People are too sensitive,” St. Laurent said. “They just think that I hurt my child intentionally. The people that know me know that I would never hurt my children.”
“She’s not scared of snakes but she doesn’t want to touch them, either. That was my goal.”
The woman is also accused of posting the footage to Facebook. She has since removed the video.
Also called a corn snake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the species is non-venomous and fangless. The Commission also pointed out that red rat snakes, which kill their prey by constriction, primarily eat small mammals, lizards, birds, and bird eggs.
St. Laurent is currently accused of cruelty toward a child, a third-degree felony. WTSP reported that the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office forwarded the affidavit to the State Attorney’s Office, who will ultimately decide whether to file charges.
Scott Dressel with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office told WFTS: “There’s always ways to teach your children lessons and this just did not seem like a good way to teach your child.”
[Featured Image: WTSP]