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Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr., wife charged with abusing teenage daughter

AC Mayor Marty Small Sr. and wife charged with child endangerment after allegedly abusing daughter
AC Mayor Marty Small Sr. and wife charged with child endangerment after allegedly abusing daughter 02:26

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — The mayor of Atlantic City and his wife have been charged with physically and emotionally abusing their teenage daughter between December 2023 and January 2024, according to charging documents filed by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

Mayor Marty Small Sr. and his wife La'Quetta Small have been charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Atlantic County Prosecutor William Reynolds said.

The mayor has also been charged with terroristic threats, aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault.

La'Quetta Small, who is the superintendent of Atlantic City Public Schools, was also charged with three separate counts of disorderly persons simple assault.

Atlantic County prosecutors said the charges are connected with those brought against Atlantic City High School Principal Constance Days-Chapman for failing to report child abuse in January.

Prosecutors allege the mayor once hit his daughter multiple times in the head with a broom, resulting in her losing consciousness.

During another incident, prosecutors said Small Sr. threatened to hurt his daughter by "earth-slamming" her down the stairs, grabbing her head, throwing her to the ground and that he would "smack the weave out ya head," according to the documents.

Small Sr. is also accused of bruising his daughter during another incident after repeatedly punching her in her legs.

CBS News Philadelphia reached out to the city of Atlantic City for comment. A spokesperson said any comment would come from the mayor's lawyer, Ed Jacobs. 

CBS News Philadelphia spoke with Jacobs Monday, and the lawyer reiterated the complaints deal with private family matters with La'Quetta Small and Small Sr. doing their best as parents. 

Prosecutors claimed La'Quetta Small once punched her daughter multiple times in her chest, which left bruising. She also allegedly dragged her daughter by her hair before beating her with a belt on her shoulders.

La'Quetta Small also punched her daughter in the mouth during an argument, prosecutors allege.

CBS News Philadelphia reached out to the Atlantic City Public Schools superintendent's office. They had no comment.

The prosecutor's office's Special Victims Unit is handling the investigation.  

A timeline of events

On March 28, five search warrants were executed at the mayor's and his wife's home and cars. Jacobs, the mayor's lawyer, said cellphones and laptops were among "a long list" of items seized during the search.

On April 1, the mayor held a press conference with his wife, lawyer and daughter present addressing the search warrants.

Small Sr. denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were dealing with a "private family matter."

"We're dealing with a challenging time," the mayor said then. "And if I wasn't Mayor Marty Small or she wasn't the superintendent, you wouldn't hear of this."

Jacobs said his clients were aware of the county prosecutors' investigation for "three or four months."

Also on April 1, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office charged Days-Chapman with official misconduct, hindering apprehension of another, disorderly person failure to report child abuse and obstruction of justice.

According to a press release, a student at Atlantic City High School told a staff member they were "emotionally and physically abused by their parents." Prosecutors said the student reported the abuse to Days-Chapman.

Prosecutors said the staff member spoke with Days-Chapman, but the principal denied she was ever told about the abuse. Days-Chapman allegedly told the staff member she would disclose the alleged abuse to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, but did not do so. 

Prosecutors claimed Days-Chapman spoke with the student's parents at their home but a report to the DCP&P was never made.

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