Aggravated Child Abuse

Melissa Winer

Clarksville police charged a licensed practical nurse with aggravated child abuse and neglect regarding an August abuse allegation. 

State Department of Children’s Services caseworkers originally screened the referral out for severe abuse, and didn’t find anything criminal.  Since the referral was screened out, Clarksville police didn’t investigate.

Clarksville police’s special victims unit viewed part of a video Jan. 8 that showed the events that happened Aug. 23 at a Faulkner Drive home and assigned the case to Detective Lisa Fatula to investigate. Fatula's investigation revealed a 12-year-old girl victim has several medical conditions that require her to have 24-hour care, and there are video cameras set up inside her Faulkner Drive home. 

The suspect, Melissa Winer, 44, arrived Aug. 23 to provide nursing care for the girl. Police said Winer could be seen on video providing abusive and negligent care to the victim. Officers said she let the victim fall to the floor several times, and one time it appeared she hit her head. 

Police said Winer pulled the victim's hair numerous times and on one occasion, appeared to lift her by the hair on the video. On another occasion, police the victim was in a sitting position, and Winer pulled the victim up from the floor that caused a scrape on her back.  

Officers said they got a warrant for Winer’s arrest “due to the heinous and cruel nature of the treatment to the victim.”

After a coordinated effort between Clarksville police, Oak Grove police and Robertson County sheriff's deputies, Winer was arrested and booked in Jan. 13 at the Montgomery County Jail. Police charged Winer with aggravated child abuse and neglect. Her bond was set at $50,000.   

Clarksville police also said it will re-evaluate its procedures for handling referrals screened out by DCS.

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