Woman gets probation for felony battery conviction after foster child records her abusing other foster child

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Patricia Anne Fisher is pictured at her sentencing hearing on April 15, 2024, in Douglas County District Court. Fisher was convicted of one felony count of aggravated domestic battery in connection with a child in her care.

A Lawrence woman was granted probation on Monday and ordered to follow a family reunification plan after one of her foster children recorded her abusing another foster child.

The woman, Patricia Anne Fisher, 54, was charged in Douglas County District Court with one felony count of child abuse by torturing or cruelly punishing a child and one misdemeanor count of violating a protective order, according to charging documents. She pleaded guilty to a lesser count of felony aggravated domestic battery in February. The battery charge relates to an incident on March 29, 2023.

At a preliminary hearing in October 2023, video was shown of the woman “engaging in physical combat” with a young teen in her home while a younger child hid in a nearby room and recorded video of the incident. Fisher was seen holding the teen girl by the neck before wrestling the girl to the ground, and while the two were wrestling the girl’s head was slammed on a table, as the Journal-World reported.

On Monday, Judge Amy Hanley sentenced the woman to 12 months in prison, which she then suspended to 24 months of probation, in accordance with Kansas sentencing guidelines.

Fisher’s attorney, Michael Clarke, had said that Fisher has been attending therapy sessions regularly to address the issues that led to the conflict with the child. He said that Fisher has not been living in the home with the child since Fisher was charged but that as part of a phased family reunification plan created by Fisher’s therapist, Fisher hopes to return home soon. He said they are currently in the second phase of the plan, which includes attending church and eating meals together.

Fisher addressed the court and said that she has spent the last year reviewing parenting manuals and learning how to better approach her children.

“Since being apart, I realize that I caused not only physical harm but damaged her trust in me,” Fisher said.

She said that she has also opened up to the people at her church and in her immediate community to discuss the challenges she has had with her children and that building the trust that her children have lost in her is her main goal.

“I can’t risk hurting my daughter again,” Fisher said.

Hanley said she wanted Fisher’s probation officer to verify the details of the family reunification plan that is in place and ordered Fisher to undergo a domestic violence risk evaluation and to follow any recommendations that may come from it.

“I want someone overseeing these phases,” Hanley said.

Fisher had been free since her arrest in June of 2023, on a $20,000 bond.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.