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Educator no longer charged with not reporting child abuse

A New Mexico physician and private school operator is no longer facing charges of failing to report child abuse leading up to an infant’s death.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Davis Ruark, the lead prosecutor in the case, filed for dismissal Nov. 13, saying there was a significant change in evidence.

Ann Mercer was charged in 2014 almost two weeks after 35-year-old Annette Smith was arrested in the death of her daughter, 7-month-old Shania Boddie Smith.

Smith’s then-13- and 12-year-old daughters had told police they informed Mercer about abuse in the home before their infant sister died.

State law requires school officials to report child abuse.

Mercer’s attorney Michael L. Stout of Las Cruces said in a statement Thursday that he and Mercer were pleased with the dismissal.


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