Local News

Assistant Professor At N.C. State Charged With Misdemeanor Child Abuse

Posted November 28, 2005 7:16 a.m. EST

— A North Carolina State University assistant professor accused of abusing her 11-year-old daughter with an electronic device was charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

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  • "Obviously this is not a proper way to discipline a child," said Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue.

    Police said Brenda Brizuela, 40, an assistant professor in the department of zoology, used an electronic device on the child that emits an electric charge. Authorities said she used it twice: once this past summer and again in October.

    The arrest warrant states the device left bruise marks on the back of the child's leg.

    "In that area, you'd feel excruciating pain and you'd have two burn spots," said Chad Mathis, the range manager at Davi's Indoor Range & Shooting Sports, which sells stun guns for self-defense. "It would hurt. It's something I can't see anybody using on a child."

    Brizuela, who has been employed at N.C. State since 2000 and is up for tenure, is out of jail. When reached at home, Brizuela told WRAL that she is a good mother and that the case is "being blown out of proportion."

    She said she worries what kind of message the attention will send to her students, who look to her as a mentor.

    Brizuela's attorney, Bill Young, said his client has cooperated fully with the police investigation and has surrendered the electronic device. Young also said that after fully investigating, Child Protective Services decided to leave Brizuela's daughter in her care.

    A counselor at the school where the child attends first brought the case to the attention of Child Protective Services.