Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 12:20 AM
By: Jim Hayward, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
— A Florida woman who intentionally let a snake bite her young daughter to teach her to be afraid of the reptiles will not face child abuse charges, Fox 13 in Tampa reports.
Chantelle St. Laurent of Sebring posted a video on Facebook earlier this month that showed her 1-year-old being bitten by a snake as the girl reached into a container to touch it. It showed the snake striking and the girl crying.
"She says she was just trying to teach the child to be afraid of snakes," according to Scott Dressel of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.
The state attorney’s office announced Tuesday that it would not pursue the case because there was not enough evidence. Several experts viewed the video, and while they "felt that the treatment of the snake and the child were not wise, they did not see any criminal actions," Sheriff Paul Blackman said.
St. Laurent's mother, who claims she conducted the same exercise on her daughter when she was young, told Fox 13 that they chose a non-poisonous snake and that the baby's skin wasn't broken. "There was no harm to the baby," Brenda St. Laurent said. "The baby is fine, a happy, healthy baby."
She said the mother doesn't regret "teaching the child" and neither does she. Her daughter's only regret, she said, is "putting it on Facebook for all these morons."