MANCHESTER, NH – A city woman was indicted on 15 felony charges related to the physical abuse of her boyfriend’s three young children.
Jessica Laferriere, 31, of 344 Cedar St., third floor, was indicted by a Hillsborough County Superior Court grand jury on 13 counts of second-degree assault, and two charges of falsifying physical evidence. The alleged abuse took place between April 22, 2021, and Jan. 22, 2022.
Phellipe Monteiro, 33, of the same address, the children’s father, was indicted on two counts of falsifying physical evidence.
One of the children, a three-year-old identified only as “S.M.” in the indictments, suffered the brunt of the abuse.
The couple was arrested in January after the child’s grandmother took the child to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua. The grandmother saw bruises developing on the child’s face so she took photos of them and sent them to Montiero and Laferriere, asking about them, according to court documents. The 3-year-old continued to complain about her “boo-boos” so she thought it best to take her to the hospital. Medical personnel then contacted police.
The child was bruised literally from head to toe, with her back completely covered in bruises when she was treated by an emergency room physician in Nashua, according to court documents.
Laferriere was indicted for striking the child and causing bruising to her head, torso and lower extremities; hitting her on her back; hitting her on her face; hitting her in the mouth, causing a cut lip; slapping her multiple times, causing swelling and welts on her body; striking her multiple times causing her to sustain swelling to her lip, bruising her stomach and back; biting her, causing bruising to her body; hitting her and causing abrasions and swelling to her face.
Leferriere is also accused of assaulting two other children in her care, one with the same birthdate as the 3-year-old girl and the other a 5-year-old girl.
She is accused of slapping that 3-year-old child, identified as “N.M.” in the indictments, multiple times, causing swelling and welt marks on her body; striking her in the mouth causing her to sustain a split lip.
Laferriere was charged with second-degree assault involving a third child, identified as “P.M.” who was 5 years old when Laferriere struck her in the face and mouth, causing swelling and bruising to her face including a swollen lip, according to the indictments.
The falsifying evidence counts accuse the couple of not obtaining medical care for “S.M.” In Laferriere’s case, the indictment accused her of hiding S.M.’s facial injuries because she “was terrified she would be blamed.” In one charge stemming from a Nov. 14, 2021 incident, Laferriere in an electronic message said the child “probably need (ed) a stitch” but that she had “scratches on her from me grabbing her, so the emergency room is out of the question without a DCYF call.”
Monteiro’s charges accuse him of not obtaining medical care for his 3-year-old daughter’s Jan. 22, 2022 injuries because he “knew that a police investigation would be the outcome.”
On Nov. 17, 2021, when the child also needed medical care because of her injuries, Monteiro didn’t get her medical care because it would result in a DCYF investigation, according to the indictment.
Laferriere, when interviewed by detectives, admitted to slapping “S.M.” at times and hitting her multiple times after “losing her cool,” according to a police affidavit filed in Superior Court.
She said she “probably caused at least half of the bruises” on “S.M.’s” body but felt she didn’t cause every single injury.
Laferriere also told investigators she didn’t take the child to the hospital because she didn’t want hospital staff to see the injuries and investigate her for abusing the child.
The child’s grandmother picked up “S.M.” and her two siblings about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. They lived with Monteiro, their biological father, and Laferriere in the Cedar Street apartment.
A total of six children, ranging in age from 3 to 13, lived with the couple.
The grandmother told police when she picked up the children “S.M.” had noticeable bruising on her face. Laferriere, she said, told her “S.M.” had fallen face-first into some Legos and that she had been evaluated at the hospital.
Monteiro told detectives Laferriere is aggressive with the kids and that he has spoken with her about it before. He maintained he “could not prove” she was abusing them, but he acknowledged he saw bruises on all of the kids, and the excessive bruising on “S.M.,” but that Laferriere always explained what caused them.
According to NH Department of Health and Human Services, NH Law requires any person who suspects that a child under age 18 has been abused or neglected must report that suspicion immediately to DCYF. (New Hampshire RSA 169-C:29-31).
If a child tells you that he or she has been hurt or you are concerned that a child may be the victim of any type of abuse or neglect, you must call the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Central Intake Unit at:
(800) 894-5533 (in-state) or
603) 271-6562 (out of state)
The Intake unit is staffed 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
For immediate emergencies, please call 911.