A Long Island woman has been charged with harassing a toddler with a rare genetic disorder for more than a year on social media and via the U.S. mail, NBC New York reported.
Krista Sewell, 26, was arrested on Thursday on charges that included aggravated harassment as a hate crime, a felony.
She is alleged to have sent numerous threatening messages to the little girl, Anna, over Facebook, Instagram and GoFundMe and mailed letters to the child’s home.
Anna lives in the Hudson Valley in Ulster County, north of Newburgh, with her mother, Jennie Riley. The two-year-old was born with harlequin ichthyosis, a disorder that causes the skin to harden and crack and creates difficulties with breathing and movement.
Jennie Riley provided a statement to NBC New York:
In 2017 my daughter Anna was born with a skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis. This condition is very severe and I have made a choice to educate people publicly on Facebook and Instagram. Although I knew there was a possibility for negativity I never expected to receive the messages that were sent to me. Over the past year I have fought a battle I never thought I would fight and I felt fear no mother should feel. I want to thank the New York State Police and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department for their diligence, dedication and most of all their compassion. I hope we can all learn from this and understand the importance of teaching our kids kindness and acceptance of visible differences.
Sewell is being held at the Ulster County jail and is expected back in court on November 12. The New York State Police said they are concerned Anna is not the only person Sewell subjected to harassment and urged anyone else to contact them.
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[Featured image: Instagram/harlequindiva]