Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  
October 31, 2013  

Orange City Woman Arrested in
Connection with Serious Injury to
Three-Year-Old Child

Orange City, IOWA -- On October 29, 2013, officers with the Sioux Falls Police Department, the Orange City Police Department, and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office responded to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls to investigate a report of possible child abuse. Officers found a three-year-old Orange City girl with serious head injuries, including a fractured skull and brain trauma. The Orange City Police Department requested the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to further investigate the report of child abuse.

The child’s mother reported that the child received the injuries while in the care of her daycare provider, Rochelle Lynn Sapp, at the Sapp residence located at 706 10th Street SE in Orange City. Sapp, age 33, initially reported that the child’s injuries occurred when the child fell down a flight of stairs. However, the investigation revealed that the child’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down a flight of stairs, and upon being questioned, Sapp admitted that she caused the child’s injuries by throwing the child to the floor. The child remains in critical condition with life threatening injuries.

Following consultation with the Sioux County Attorney, Coleman J. McAllister, it was determined that probable cause existed to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Rochelle Lynn Sapp. Rochelle Lynn Sapp was arrested on Thursday morning, taken to the Sioux County Jail, and charged with Willful Injury, a Class C felony; and Child Endangerment Resulting in Serious Injury, a Class C felony. She will make her initial appearance in Sioux County District Court within the next 24 hours.

The agencies involved in the investigation include the Orange City Police Department, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, the Sioux Falls Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Additional questions can be directed to Orange City Police Chief Jim Pottebaum at 712-707-4251. Questions after the initial appearance should be directed to Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister at 712-737-2457.

It should be noted a criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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