The story of a grandmother who took a photo of a baby with a pacifier duct taped to her mouth has gone viral, reaching social media and news websites in dozens of countries.
While there’s been debate online, the Franklin County Sheriff says the photo is not criminal.
Jackie Sheaks was very emotional when 10TV talked to her on Thursday.
She says the publicity has all gone too far. She says the photos, meant as a harmless prank, have made her a target.
Sheaks says when she posted the photo of her granddaughter with a pacifier duct taped to her cheeks, people on Facebook became hostile. Sheaks says the photo was meant as a joke. She says the baby was fresh out of the tub and had lotion on her cheeks.
Sheaks says the tape barely stuck, and the sheriff says he believes she's telling the truth.
“Both parties involved, the parent and grandparent, say it was taken just for a second, a photo was taken, which the physical evidence indicates there were probably telling the truth,” says Sheriff Zach Scott.
Scott says there were no marks on the baby's face and says while the photo may be in poor taste, it isn't a crime.
But the Sheriff says it is a lesson learned - think twice before you post something on the internet.
“I think we've sent a strong message with the help of the media, don't joke like this, don't do something like this, you could endanger a child.”
There was also a photo posted of the child in a roasting pan.
Sheriff's investigators say a thorough investigation revealed the baby is healthy and living in a safe and clean environment.
The baby's grandmother didn't want to talk to 10TV on camera but wants everyone who's posting angry comments to know the baby is well loved and well cared for.
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