An Antigo girl must live with the physical and emotional burden of having Hepatitis C, after she says her aunt forcibly injected morphine into her arm. Now the girl's mother is opening up about how she and her daughter are coping with disease.
"It's hard enough to parent a teenager. To help them try to understand the risks and, you know, there's so many." said the Antigo mom, who wants to remain anonymous.
She says her daughter must now travel to Milwaukee often to receive treatment.
"My daughter is going through a lot. A lot of counseling. [She is] suicidal. All unnecessary things because of this incident."
According to the criminal complaint, in Sept. 2012, Nicole Bessert, 20, asked her niece if she wanted to try morphine. The girl, who was 12 at the time, said no, but Bessert told her friend, Erikka Vancos, to hold the girl's arm anyway while she stuck her with a syringe. The victim says Bessert also threatened to beat her up if she told anyone.
"She doesn't seem to be sorry at all to me. I feel she is only sorry because she's in jail."
Bessert is being held at the Langlade Co. Jail. She pleaded not guilty in March to the charges against her, including child abuse and false imprisonment. If convicted on all counts, Bessert could spend a maximum of nearly 25 years behind bars. But her sister worries she'll get out after just six months because of a potential plea deal with prosecutors.
"This is not OK on any level. No parent, no child should ever have to endure something like this."
She says she's not sure why her sister would do something like this, but says Bessert needs to pay for what happened, and above all, get help for her addiction.
NewsChannel 7 reached out to the prosecuting attorney, Ralph Uttke, about any potential plea deal. He says he won't comment on a pending case. A plea hearing is scheduled for April 16.
Vancos also faces one misdemeanor and two felony charges.
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