Yesterday, a Minnesota woman has been arrested in the death of her 17 month old daughter in February. Maplewood police found the child, Genesis Xiong, dead in an apartment after authorities were notified by the mother of the child not breathing. The mother’s boyfriend, Leb Mike Meak, was originally charged with the child’s death. The mother, Lia Pearson, also known as Lia Lee, has now been charged with child neglect. Investigators say the mother knew her daughter had many injuries to her body, had been told the child was being abused but did nothing to intervene.
According to court documents, Meak, reportedly shook and “roughed up the girl” on February 12th before the police arrived with a child being unresponsive. The child had numerous bruises on her body and on her head. Two other children in the home, Meak’s sons from a previous relationship, told officials that they heard their father beating the little girl and that they told the mother, Pearson, but she did nothing to stop the violence being targeted against her daughter. In fact, Pearson allowed her daughter to live with the accused abuser after saying he had grown attached to Genesis and loved taking care of her. It is believed that the child was also sexually abused.
According to a statement, Pearson made, she last saw Genesis on February 1st and that her daughter had a large bruise on her forehead. According to Pearson, Meak explained the injuries to Genesis must have injured herself on his weight set. Pearson said she put ice on the bump, but she didn’t take Genesis to the doctor. She said that Genesis also developed bruising to the side of her face and two black eyes. These injuries are symptoms related to both fracture skull injuries and or Shaken Baby Syndrome.
In interviews with police, the complaint continues, that Pearson admitted that the two boys had in fact told her about the abuse but she explained she didn’t believe them. Pearson thought the boys made it up so that the child would be removed from the home and that the boys wanted their father all to themselves. Since the arrest of Meak, Pearson has continued contact with her daughter’s alleged abuser, though phone calls which have been recorded. She also said during their exchanges that she still loved him and missed him so much she had a photo of Meak blown up to poster size for her bedroom.
Pearson has three other children. She has a date with the Judge at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to determine if her other children should be allowed to stay with her.
On May 15, she’ll face the child endangerment charges.
If convicted of the child endangerment charge, Pearson faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.