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3 Grand Forks women charged with abusing children

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A grandmother is charged with beating her grandchildren, ages 4 to 9, with a wooden stick and belts, taping one's eyes shut, then open, and taping dirty diapers on their heads and keeping them from eating and drinking.

Jacqueline Peltier, 50, faces 13 felony counts of child abuse or neglect, including six Class B felony counts that each carry top sentences of 10 years in prison.

Her daughter, Jenelle Gourd, and Allysa Demarrias, who live with Peltier and the children, some of them Gourd's children, also face felony counts of child abuse or neglect.

According to investigators’ affidavit, Gourd videotaped her mother, Peltier, swearing, yelling and beating her grandchildren in their home in at least two incidents in January and provided the video to investigators. Demarrias described to investigators Peltier’s alleged crimes involving five or six children.

Peltier especially focused on one boy, 4, according to statements from the children and Gourd and Demarrias. She taped his eyes shut to force him to sleep and taped them open during the day so he couldn’t sleep, according to investigators.

The women were arrested Wednesday and appeared Thursday in state district court via interactive television from the county jail.

A court official said Demarrias and Gourd are in a relationship.