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Woman can’t remember toilet birth

Associated Press / February 10, 2011

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GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina woman accused of giving birth in a sports arena bathroom and leaving her baby in the toilet didn’t know she was pregnant and can’t remember the birth, her mother told a judge in court yesterday.

“She has not shown any signs of being pregnant whatsoever,’’ Anita McAuliffe said during a bond hearing for her daughter, Jessica Blackham.

Police said Blackham, 24, gave birth to the 6-pound boy and left him in the toilet’s cold water on Friday night.

Blackham, who is also mother to a 4-year-old child, felt ill during a circus performance and went to the arena’s bathroom, McAuliffe said. She told the judge that her daughter can’t remember what happened next and later went to a hospital and was treated for bleeding.

Blackham was charged Tuesday with one count of felony child abuse and one count of unlawful neglect toward a child. Her bond on both charges was set at $30,000. She faces up to 30 years in prison.

Arena workers found the asphyxiating child and called authorities. The infant, who is now in the care of the state Department of Social Services, was in good condition at a hospital, authorities said.

Prosecutor Walt Wilkins said the infant was abandoned for at least 90 minutes.

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