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Indiana mom charged with beating kids for opening Christmas gifts early

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana mother has been arrested and charged with abusing her children.

The mother hit them after they found their Christmas presents and unwrapped them, police said.

“If my granddaughter got into her things, I would just laugh and let her enjoy them, that is no reason to be violent with a child I don’t think,” neighbor Linda Duncan said.

But Duncan’s neighbor might not feel the same way. Court documents accuse 36-year-old Sascha Collins of hitting her two boys, ages 7 and 9, throwing one against the wall and hitting the kids with a belt after the boys got into Christmas presents kept in the closet Sunday.

“There were injuries to their arms and to their forearms and the stomach area of the child,” Hancock County prosecutor Brent Eaton said.

Prosecutors called the injuries superficial but said this far exceeded spanking. In court documents, Collins told investigators she doesn’t remember details, but she was picking up wrapping paper and yelling at them and hitting them.

“There’s no sense in that, I’d tell them Merry Christmas and let them have them, let them play with them,” Duncan said.

Collins pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of domestic battery in court this week.

“A child should never be hurt. We’ve had several people in this neighborhood who have had problems with their children and had them taken away. I’m just happy that CPS is involved,” Duncan said.

An attorney representing Collins declined to comment. Collins is due back in court in February.