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A 69-year-old Billings woman has been charged with beating a 6-year-old boy with a kitchen spoon.

Janet Carol Fossceco appeared Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court by video from the county jail on felony charges of assault on a minor and tampering with evidence.

Judge Larry Herman agreed to release Fossceco without bond while her case is pending. The judge ordered the woman to have no contact with the victim and his family, and to have no contact with children outside her own family.  

According to court records, in late February the boy's parents reported that their 6-year-old son had come home from Fossceco's house with severe bruises on his legs. The parents said Fossceco was a longtime family friend who provided them with child care.

The boy said Fossceco had beaten him with a black spoon after he answered "no" when she asked him what he had for lunch at school and if he had washed his hands, court records state.

The case was investigated by a Billings police detective, who spoke with Fossceco in early March. She initially denied knowing how the boy suffered the  bruising, and said she had watched the child since he was 5 months old and considered herself like a grandmother to the boy.

During a second police interview about a week later, Fossceco allegedly admitted that she "just lost it" when the boy would not answer her questions. She said she hit the the boy on the legs with a spoon seven or eight times, court records state, and later threw the spoon away.

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State courts reporter for the Billings Gazette.