An Anniston woman was sentenced last week to a year of probation after she pleaded guilty to abusing a child in her care in 2016.

Gabrielle Lindsey Johnston, 36, of Anniston pleaded guilty Oct. 3 to child abuse.

Circuit Court Judge Bud Turner ordered that Johnston spend a year on unsupervised probation and pay a $750 bail bond fee and a $250 fine. If Johnston violates the terms of her probation, she could be ordered to serve time in the county jail.

Johnston was initially charged May 12, 2017, with aggravated child abuse after, police said, she abused a girl in her care. A grand jury indicted her in August 2017 on the charge.

As part of an agreement reached by prosecutors and Johnston’s defense attorney, the Class B felony charge of aggravated child abuse was reduced to a Class C felony child abuse charge.

According to Johnston’s defense attorney, Fred Lawton, the charge was reduced because the case against Johnston was “weak.”

As part of the plea agreement, Lawton said, prosecutors allowed Johnston to resume visitation with the child.

According to Johnston’s indictment, she intentionally abused a girl in her care, injuring her, on Feb. 1, 2016.

An attempt to reach Anniston police and prosecutors for additional comment were unsuccessful. 

Johnston was booked into the Calhoun County Jail, with bond set at $30,000, and released on bond the day of her arrest.

Contact Staff Writer Mia Kortright at 256-235-3563.

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