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Police: Tyler nurse treated child with special needs like 'rag doll,' physically abusing her multiple times

The affidavit stated Fowler would knowingly and intentionally turn off the alarm alert on the child's heart rate monitor.

TYLER, Texas — A Tyler in-home nurse who was arrested last week aggressively abused a non-verbal and immobile young child with special needs multiple times and treated her like a "rag doll," according to police documents. 

Jessica Fowler, 35, is charged with injury to a child, elderly or disabled person. She was booked into the Smith County Jail on March 7 and released the same day on a $200,000 bond. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Fowler served as a nighttime nurse for a child under 14 years old who has hip dysplasia and kidney renal failure. Through an investigation and videos, police discovered Fowler forcefully pushed the child from one side of her crib to another. 

A caregiver for the child reported to police in February that the child was not using her right arm at all, the affidavit read. 

Police in the document said "disturbing" videos of Fowler showed her tossing the child from the bottom of the bed to the top of the bed and shoving her arms. The videos also showed Fowler pushing the girl's right arm behind her head and applying overpressure multiple times.

Fowler also used a fabric coated wire pad from the bed to restrain the child's arm under her head for two nights in a row. Videos showed that she treated the child like a “rag doll," according to the affidavit. 

The document stated Fowler would knowingly and intentionally turn off the alarm alert on the child's heart rate monitor, which is meant to go off when the child is in distress or pain and her heart rate is too high. 

Another video showed Fowler used so much force that the bed visibly shook and rolled away. The document also noted 45 out of 53 videos as "very disturbing" that Fowler would handle the child in that way.

In a phone interview with police, Fowler was nervous and hesitant in her tone of voice and responses. She told police she had been a nurse for about six years and a registered nurse for about three years, according to the affidavit. 

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