WAUKESHA -- A Waukesha woman is charged with physical abuse of a child and child abandonment against a boy who's been under her care for the last few years.
The accused is 40-year-old Sharon Walker, a special education aide at Banting Elementary School. The incidents described in the criminal complaint involve a relative and did not occur at the school.
Walker is accused of hitting a 14-year-old boy in her guardianship. The criminal complaint says Walker whipped the boy with chords, choked him, punched him, threw him down the stairs, hit him with poles and threatened to stab him and the rest of his family with a knife.
Walker has been suspended from her duties in the Waukesha School District -- pending the outcome of this case. She faces up to 50 years in prison and $125,000 if convicted of the two felony charges.
The mother of one of Walker's former students says she is shocked by the charges. "I find her fantastic. She's nice, she's friendly, she's great with the kids," Karin Newkirk said.
Parents of students at Banting Elementary School sent FOX6 emails giving Walker glowing reviews. One mother writes she is "kind, courteous, and friendly." Another writes "We wish her the best during this difficult time. We hope it is resolved quickly."
CLICK HERE to read more details from the criminal complaint in this case from FOX6's media partners at the Waukesha Patch.