York County mom pleads guilty, wrapped jump rope around neck of 4-year-old

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
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A Fairview Township woman has avoided additional jail time and possible conviction on a felony child-endangerment charge for wrapping a jump rope around the neck of her 4-year-old son, which police said caused ligature marks and bruising.

Brittany Rose Simpson is deeply remorseful about what happened and accepted responsibility for her actions from the start, according to York County public defender Matt Sembach, who represented her.

"She has learned from the incident and she intends on doing everything in her power to not only be a better parent, but to be a better person," he said.

Simpson, 26, appeared in York County Court on Tuesday, where she pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of simple assault, according to court records. In exchange, her third-degree felony charge of child endangerment was dropped, records state.

It was an open plea, meaning it was up to presiding Common Pleas Judge Amber A. Kraft to determine the proper punishment, Sembach said.

Kraft sentenced Simpson to 68 days to 23 months in York County Prison, which was a time-served sentence because Simpson had spent 68 days in York County Prison after her arrest, records state.

The judge ordered Simpson to pay for her son's medical bills; to submit to a mental-health evaluation and comply with recommended treatment; and to have no abusive contact with the boy, who lives with his father, records state.

The background: A caseworker with the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families told Fairview Township Police Sgt. Michael Bennage that Simpson's 4-year-old son was treated at York Hospital for ligature marks and bruising around his neck.

Brittany Rose Simpson

Simpson and her youngest child, who is now about 15 months old, lived with the baby's father on Highland Drive at the time, documents state.

"Due to past incidents and concerns Brittany is only allowed to have supervised visitation" with her three older children, who have a different father, according to court documents. Her live-in partner is supposed to supervise that visitation, police said.

During the three older children's visit to their mother's home on Oct. 31, her then-4-year-old son put a jump rope around the neck of his 10-month-old half-sibling, documents state.

In response, Simpson wrapped the jump rope around the 4-year-old's neck "and tightened it to the point she caused ligature marks and bruising," and also slapped the boy's face, according to court documents.

Simpson then called the father of her older three children and told him to pick them up, according to police.

Photos provided: The child-services employee gave police photos that showed the bruising and ligature marks on the child's neck, documents state.

Police and the child-services worker spoke with Simpson, who admitted to slapping the boy, placing the jump rope around his neck and "slightly squeezing it," court documents state.

Simpson pleaded guilty in June 2019 to misdemeanor animal cruelty, according to York County court records.

She was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to submit to a mental-health evaluation and perform 15 hours of community service, records state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.