The Panama City Police Department announces the arrest of Jonathan M. Rouse, 28 years of age and Nichole M. Johnson, 22 years of age. Both Rouse and Johnson were arrested at approximately 10:30 a.m., on August 2, 2012, following an investigation of child abuse that began on July 26, 2012.
Panama City Police officers and detectives responded to a local hospital on July 26, 2012 in reference to a child, 2 years of age, having large blisters and 2nd degree burns to the majority of his legs, feet and groin area. The child was later transported to a burn center in Georgia for treatment. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) took over supervision of the child. During the course of the investigation it was learned that Johnson is the mother of the child and she falsely reported the child received the burns during a bath while she was present at their residence.
It was later determined through the investigation that Johnson's boyfriend, Rouse, lowered the child into water hot enough to cause the burns and blisters while Johnson was at work. Before seeking treatment for the child both Johnson and Rouse agreed to the false story of how the child received the burns and repeated the false story to medical staff and detectives. Johnson was charged with contributing to the dependency of a child, resisting/obstruction of an officer, and accessory to child abuse. Rouse was charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect, contributing to the dependency of a child, and resisting/obstruction of an officer. Both were booked into the Bay County Jail for the charges.
The child has been released from the burn center and the child's condition continues to improve.
If you have any information in reference to this incident please contact Detective Johnson at the Panama City Police Department, 850-872-3112 or you can report your tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 850-785-TIPS.
Information provided by the Panama City Police Department