Portales woman arrested for child abuse

PNT staff report

A 42-year-old Portales woman has been arrested on charges of abusing her 11-year-old son.

Rhonda Gorrell is charged with a second offense of abuse of a child, a second-degree felony.

According to the affidavit for the arrest warrant:

• A Portales Police officer met with a teacher and counselor at Lindsey-Steiner Elementary School on Friday.

• The teacher said the boy had complained of jaw pain, had a strong odor and had a bruise on his right wrist. The counselor said the child also had bruises on his arms and shoulders.

• The boy started crying and said his mother whipped him with a leather belt with conchos after seeing his report card. He said Gorrell pinned him against a couch by holding her clinched fist under his chin on his throat.

• The officer placed the child in protective custody. He was taken to Roosevelt General Hospital for examination, and nurses reported more bruises on his legs matching the pattern on his wrist.

• Gorrell denied knowledge of bruises and pinning her 11-year-old to the couch. However, she said she swatted him with a belt and grabbed his arms.

• A criminal history check showed Gorrell had been convicted of child abuse in October 2005.

Tuesday night, she remained in Roosevelt County Detention Center in lieu of a $15,000 cash-only bond.