Woman accused of beating girl, 14, at behavioral facility in Viera

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County woman entrusted with caring for children with behavioral health issues was fired after being charged with child abuse, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Trashonda Coven, 28, was accused of elbowing and punching a 14-year-old girl last month at the Devereux Florida campus in Viera, investigators said.

Investigators said Coven and three other staff members were trying to restrain the girl when Coven struck the girl in the face five times with her elbow before punching the girl.

The girl was bruised under her eye and had a minor laceration under her left cheek, deputies said.

"We do have video surveillance that confirms what the witnesses said happened during the incident," Brevard County Cpl. David Jacobs said. "As I understand it, this particular juvenile has a diminished mental capacity. To what extent, I don't know."

Coven was arrested following several days of interviews by investigators.

The facility, which treats children who have emotional and behavioral challenges, said it followed its policies by placing Coven on administrative leave before ultimately terminating her.

“Devereux has zero tolerance for any staff member who does not fully align with our philosophy of care,” Executive Director Steven Murphy said in a statement. “We never forget the tremendous responsibility we undertake every day and will remain vigilant in providing high-quality services.”

Florida’s Department of Children and Families is also investigating the allegation of abuse, but the agency wouldn't comment on the case.

Coven was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of child abuse without great bodily harm. She was freed from the Brevard County Jail after paying $5,000 in bail.

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