Thursday, October 8 , 2015, 10:30 am | Mostly Cloudy 67º

Lompoc Caretaker Facing Charges of Felony Child Abuse

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Laura Duarte
Laura Duarte

A 37-year-old Lompoc woman has been arrested for allegedly abusing the 9-year-old boy for whom she was a caretaker, according to the Lompoc Police Department.

Laura Duarte was arrested Wednesday at the conclusion of a three-day investigation that began with a tip to Child Welfare Services, police Sgt. Chuck Strange said.

Earlier this week, Child Welfare Services received information involving the possible physical abuse of a 9-year-old boy, and then passed that information to Lompoc police, Strange said.

He said detectives conducted multiple interviews, obtaining enough information to substantiate the report of physical abuse.

Duarte was identified and arrested at her residence without incident, Strange said, allegedly admitting to several abusive acts against the child victim during an interview.

Duarte was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for felony child abuse, with bail set at $100,000.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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