Atlantic City mayor and wife charged with abusing daughter weeks after denying accusations

The mayor of the New Jersey resort and his wife charged with second-degree endangering welfare of a child

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 16 April 2024 19:12 BST
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small speaks out after law enforcement search home

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr and his wife have been charged with physically and emotionally abusing their teenage daughter, weeks after denying accusations.

Mr Small, 50, and his wife, La’Quetta Small, 47, were charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday.

Mr Small, a Democrat, has also been charged with third-degree terroristic threats, third-degree aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault.

His wife, superintendent of Atlantic City Public Schools, has been charged with disorderly persons simple assault.

The Smalls allegedly physically and emotionally abused their 16-year-old daughter on multiple occasions between December 2023 and January 2024, according to prosecutors.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr has been charged with physically and emotionally abusing his daughter alongside his wife La’Quetta Small (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The couple were charged two weeks after they denied the accusations at a 1 April press conference, accompanied by their daughter.

At the press conference in the New Jersey resort town, Mayor Small said that he had “nothing to hide”. He also denied that his wife had struck their daughter while his son filmed the assault, as well as what he said was an “egregious rumour” that he had beaten his daughter while she was pregnant.

My daughter has never been pregnant,” he said at the press conference.

The prosecutor’s office previously searched Mr Small’s home and seized some electronic devices. On the same day, the principal of Atlantic City high school, who ran the mayor’s re-election campaign, was charged with failing to report an allegation of child abuse to a state child welfare agency. It is unclear whether the student who reported the abuse was the couple’s daughter.

On Monday, the prosecutor’s office outlined several incidents in which the Smalls allegedly abused their daughter.

In one incident, Mr Small struck his daughter several times in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness, according to investigators.

La’Quetta Small, superintendent of Atlantic City public schools, was charged with emotionally and physically abusing her daughter alongside her husband (Atlantic City Public Schools)

Prosecutors also said that the mayor got into an argument with his daughter and threatened to hurt her by “grabbing her head and throwing her to the ground, and smacking the weave out of her head”.

Ms Small allegedly punched her daughter multiple times in the chest, leaving bruising. In another incident, she dragged her daughter by her hair and struck her with a belt on the shoulders, leaving marks, investigators said. She also allegedly punched her daughter in the mouth during an argument.

The Independent has contacted the mayor’s office for comment.

Mr Small’s lawyer, Ed Jacobs, did not comment on the abuse charges but told NBC10: “The charges filed by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office today make no claims of public corruption or misconduct in office or any failure by Mayor Small, to properly discharge his responsibilities as the mayor of Atlantic City.

“On the contrary, they focus only on personal, private family matters.”

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