Official: Mother of slain NYC boy had 5 previous child abuse reports

Zymere Perkins was 6 years old when he died

CBS New York

NEW YORK -- A New York City mother charged in the death of her six-year-old son was the subject of at least five previous city investigations for alleged child abuse, reports CBS New York, citing the city comptroller.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says his agency will conduct a new investigation into the city’s Administration for Children’s Services following the death of Zymere Perkins last week. Police say the boy’s mother’s boyfriend Ryshein Smith, 42, beat the child with a broomstick until he was limp, and police sources tell the station he also allegedly held the boy’s head under water in the shower.

The child’s mother Geraldine Perkins reportedly told police she was there during the assault, but prosecutors say she never called 911 and waited until the boy had been dead several hours to bring him in to a hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors said that a preliminary autopsy showed the boy had several broken ribs, was severely malnourished and appeared to have been previously injured.

The city’s Administration for Children’s Services says it’s investigating the death, along with the NYPD. The agency was reportedly called to visit the family five times since 2010, including once by a social worker at the boy’s school after bruises were noticed on him.

Stringer says the new investigation will determine whether the agency is following the recommendations his office made following a scathing audit in June, which found the agency puts thousands of children at risk because of “shoddy investigations and poor oversight.”

“This week, our city tragically lost another child – months after ACS pledged to enact critical reforms,” Stringer said in a statement. “This death highlights the precarious situation at this agency, and underscores the need for immediate improvements.”