Police call Muncie woman's abuse of stepdaughter "Cinderella punishment"

Elgenia Bennett
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Police are calling it the "Cinderella punishment," but the story of a Muncie mother and her stepdaughter hardly has a fairy tale ending.

Investigators say Elgenia Bennett whipped the nine-year-old girl so badly, she could barely sit down.

"After she would discipline her, she would make her clean the house. After the second day of beatings, she told her from now on she was going to call her Cinderella," said Muncie Police Sgt. Linda Cook.

Bennett allegedly whipped her stepdaughter with a belt, twice. At school afterwards, "she was having problems sitting down."

Classmates told school staff, who called police, who took the girl to the hospital.

Police cannot release the photos in their file. They show widespread purple bruising and welts from a belt.

"Deep bruising to both buttocks, more so to the right, behind the leg, almost down to the knee area," Cook said.

Not your normal punishment, police say. The stepmother's reaction?

"She seemed kind of shocked once we showed her the injuries," said Cook. "She really never conveyed that she was sorry she did it. She just wanted to make sure she turned out to be a good person. She just kind of repeated that."

The family lives in a south side double in a big family neighborhood where some told us they were surprised. They thought the stepmother had really cared for the stepdaughter. The nine-year-old is now living with her grandparents.

Police had no prior reports of problems between stepmother and stepdaughter, though the suspect was held on another warrant for driving on an expired license.