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Atlantic City mayor and his wife accused of physically, emotionally abusing teen daughter

Atlantic City mayor and his wife accused of physically, emotionally abusing teen daughter

Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mayor Marty Small Sr. and his wife are both charged with physically and emotionally abusing their teen daughter, officials announced Monday. 

Small, a 50-year-old Democrat, and his wife, La’Quetta Small, 47, are charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said. Marty Small is also charged with third-degree terroristic threats, third-degree aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault. 

La’Quetta Small, who is the superintendent of the Atlantic City Public Schools, is also charged with disorderly persons simple assault. 

Mayor Marty Small, center, greets people leaving a news conference in Atlantic City, N.J., on April 1. Small said search warrants executed at his home last week involved “a family issue” for which the Smalls are in counseling and are dealing with state child welfare authorities.Wayne Parry / AP

Investigators said the Smalls physically and emotionally abused their daughter on multiple occasions between December 2023 and January 2024 when she was 15 and 16 years old. During one incident, Small struck his daughter several times in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness, according to investigators. 

During another incident in which they were arguing, Small continuously threatened to hurt his daughter by “earth slamming” her down the stairs, grabbing her head, throwing her to the ground and smacking the weave out of her head, investigators said. During another incident, Small punched his daughter repeatedly in her legs causing bruising, according to officials. 

La’Quetta Small at one point allegedly punched her daughter multiple times on her chest, leaving bruising. During another incident, La’Quetta Small dragged her daughter by her hair and struck her with a belt on her shoulders, leaving marks, investigators said. She also allegedly punched her daughter in the mouth during an argument. 

Reached by text Monday, Mayor Small refused to comment on the charges and directed NBC Philadelphia to his attorney, who didn’t immediately comment.

La’Quetta Small didn’t immediately comment on the charges.

Atlantic City’s spokesperson on Monday declined to comment on the allegations and directed all questions to the mayor’s attorney.

Mayor Small’s home was searched back on March 28. On April 1, Small, his wife and their daughter attended an Atlantic City news conference in which the mayor said he had “nothing to hide.” He also denied rumors that his daughter was pregnant and that his wife struck her while his son filmed the assault.

Small also discussed the arrest of Atlantic City High School principal Constance Days-Chapman on charges that she did not notify the proper authorities when a student told her that they were being “emotionally and physically abused by the juvenile’s parents.”

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit investigated the case. If you have any further information, please call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800.

If you are a child being abused, or know a child who may be facing abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453, or go to www.childhelphotline.org. States often have child abuse hotlines, but if you suspect a child’s life is in imminent danger, call 911.

David Chang, NBC Philadelphia

David Chang, NBC Philadelphia

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