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Cops: NY Woman Harassed Toddler With Rare Disorder

Krista Sewell is accused of stalking 2-year-old Anna, who has condition that makes her skin split
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2019 8:11 AM CST

(Newser) – "Over the past year, I have fought a battle I never thought I would fight and I felt fear no mother should feel," says Jennie Riley. The battle the upstate New York mom refers to is that of a harassment campaign against her toddler, allegedly carried out by a 26-year-old Long Island woman who's now been arrested, NBC News reports. Riley's 2-year-old daughter, Anna, has harlequin ichthyosis, a genetic disorder that creates thick, hard skin that cracks and splits apart and can cause eating and breathing issues; Riley has been sharing information about Anna on social media to raise awareness of the condition. But in October 2018, Riley tells the New York Post, she received a threatening message she says was from Krista Sewell of Melville, and it only ramped up from there.

Police say that from December of last year through this month, Sewell also sent "numerous threatening messages to Facebook, Instagram, and GoFundMe pages that had been set up by the victim's family," as well as mailed threatening notes to the family's Hudson Valley home. The New York Daily News reports Sewell was arrested Wednesday in Kingston, NY, and charged with aggravated harassment, stalking, and a felony hate crime. "I have no idea why she chose to do this," Riley tells the Post, adding to NBC, "Although I knew there was a possibility for negativity, I never expected to receive the messages that were sent to me." Sewell is being held at the Ulster County Jail until she can come up with $25,000 cash bail or a $50,000 bond. Police in Kingston are asking anyone else who feels Sewell may have targeted them as well to reach out. (Read more toddlers stories.)

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