ACC Police Officer Arrested at Oconee Home for Allegedly Assaulting Daughter

The officer is accused of hitting her teenage daughter with a broom.

Laura Jean Motes was upset with her 16-year-old daughter for lying about where she had been on Saturday night, so the 44-year-old Athens Clarke County Police officer allegedly hit the child with a broom. She was arrested by Oconee County Sheriff's deputies Sunday afternoon at her Oconee home and charged with battery under the State Family Violence Act.

According to a story in the Athens Banner Herald, the teenager told authorities that Motes had been sweeping when the two were talking about the girl's lying to her. Motes struck the girl on the head with the broom and tried to hit her again when she attempted to call 911, the 16-year-old told deputies.

When her mother tried to hit her with the broom handle, she blocked the broom with her arm, the story says. Motes also is said to have poked the broom handle several times into the child's abdomen, the story says. The deputy's report noted that the teenager had injuries that were consistent with her version of events, the story says.

Motes' recounting was markedly different from her daughter's, the story says. She told deputies her daughter kicked the broom, the story says, and said she had spanked her with a wooden spoon, perhaps injuring her hand in the process. 

Another daughter heard the altercation but didn't see what happened because she was in the basement, the story says. A family friend picked up the children while Motes was taken to jail, and DFACS was contacted. Motes was released shortly after her arrest on bond.

According to the story, Motes has been placed on paid administrative leave and will meet with ACC Police officials on Monday, after an internal investigation has been concluded. It's illegal for anyone convicted of family violence to own or use a gun, the story says, so it's possible Motes' days as a police officer are over.

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