ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne woman accused of beating a 3-year-old girl so severely she may have suffered permanent injuries received a 12-year prison sentence in Steuben County late last week.

A Steuben Circuit Court judge handed the sentence down to 26-year-old Dakota McHenry on Friday, according to court records.

Previously, McHenry pleaded guilty to one count of domestic battery causing serious bodily injury to someone who is under 14 years of age as part of a deal with Stueben County prosecutors.

In October 2021, the child had been taken to a hospital in Angola for injuries that likely occurred while the girl had been in McHenry’s care at the HI-VUE campground near Lake George. At the time, doctors and medical staff believed the injuries could’ve caused the child to suffer intellectual disabilities, according to court records.

A couple sentenced to prison in a child abuse case in Angola.
Dakota McHenry and Derek Pierce

The girl was ultimately transferred to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition.

Kendallville Police arrested McHenry and the child’s father, Derek Pierce, on neglect of a dependent charges after an investigation.

Last month, Pierce pleaded guilty to one count of neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury as part of a deal with prosecutors who agreed to drop a count of neglect of a dependent causing catastrophic injury they levied against him, according to court records.

Pierce was then sentenced to nine years in prison with three of those years suspended, according to court records.

As part of McHenry’s deal, two additional counts of neglect of a dependent against her were dropped.

She was given 12 days credit served in jail.