- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - A child abuse case against a South Dakota woman has been thrown out after a federal judge ruled that abuse and neglect laws don’t apply to unborn children.

The Aberdeen American News (http://bit.ly/1uh6Ws8 ) reports the judge granted the dismissal in favor of 26-year-old Marissa Sitting Dog following recommendations from a federal magistrate.

The McIntosh woman had been charged with federal felony child abuse after authorities accused her of consuming alcohol and using marijuana while she was pregnant. Her child was born in 2013.

Records show a physician told investigators he was relatively certain that Sitting Dog’s child had fetal alcohol syndrome judging by the child’s facial deformities.

The magistrate wrote unborn children aren’t included in South Dakota’s definition of “minor” under the statute that defines the offense of child abuse.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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