Woman arrested after child found with excessive bruising on legs and buttocks, records show

Melanie Beth Bernal, 32, charged with injury to a child with intent

SAN ANTONIO – A woman was arrested after Bexar County Sheriff’s Office investigators said she spanked a child with a belt so hard that it left excessive bruising on his legs and buttocks.

Melanie Beth Bernal, 32, was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with injury to a child with intent, a third-degree felony, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

An arrest warrant affidavit states that relatives discovered the child’s injuries on Friday. The child told relatives that Bernal spanked him, and the relatives then called authorities, investigators said.

A BCSO investigator noted in the affidavit that there was “severe bruising on both butt cheeks and both upper thighs that were in a pattern of a belt in downward diagonal pattern.”

BCSO called Bernal and she said she hit him with a belt because he had “acted up in school” on Thursday, the affidavit states.

When BCSO requested to meet with her in person for an in-depth interview, she declined because she said she was out of town for an event.

A warrant for her arrest was signed that day. Her bond amount was set at $5,000.

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Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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