A Baltimore County, Maryland mother was accused of child abuse after a viral video allegedly showed her beating two of her young children.
The man who posted the video, Devon Macijeski, said Rachel Pietro posted it in a group chat he was on, and he was horrified, so he shared it to his own Facebook page. On Facebook, Pietro also goes by the name Rachel Weber.
Pietro, 26, “was charged with two counts of second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault in connection with the recorded abuse,” reported WBAL-TV.
She says on Facebook that she is a former stripper who is married and is a mother of four, including a “daughter with wings.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Video, Which Went Viral, Shows a Woman Beating Two Children
The video is only 23 seconds long. It shows a girl hiding under a bunk bed as a woman beats and yells at her. The woman then hits a boy in the head as she shouts something about “beat these kids to death.” (It’s hard to make out some of what she says.)
ABC2 reported the video went viral on Facebook shortly after it was posted by Macijeski. The family involved lives in the Essex area, and the Baltimore County police and social services are investigating, according to the television station.
The Baltimore police spokeswoman told WBAL-TV: “The investigation showed she shot the video. She told us she shot it as a ploy to get her husband to come home and take care of her and she was angry and upset at the children at the time she shot the video.”
2. Macijeski Said He Shared the Video Because He Wanted Pietro Held Accountable
In an interview with Heavy, Macijeski said he was shocked when Pietro – whom he knows only through Facebook – shared the video in a group chat.
“She sent me the video during a group chat and yes she is the one in the video and the exact moment she sent me that video I felt furious and posted it right away so I can get help with getting them kids taken away,” he told Heavy of Pietro.
Of why he came forward, he said, “I just think it was the right thing to do.”
3. Pietro Is a Former Stripper & Pole Dancer Who Has Worked in Customer Service Jobs
On Facebook, posting as Rachel Weber, Pietro says she works “taking orders answering calls at Prima’s Pizza & Pasta.”
She says she was also a “Customer Service Representative and Cashier at Family Dollar, a “Former Everything at Dunkin’ Donuts,” and a “Former Stripper/Pole Dancer at Lust Gentleman’s Club.”
There was no answer at a phone number listed to Pietro, and she did not respond to messages left for her on social media.
4. Police Began Their Investigation After the Video Went Viral
A Baltimore County police spokesperson told Heavy that the mother in the video was not under arrest as of March 17. She declined to name her, directing a reporter to the police blog for more information.
The police blog said a “BCoPD investigation of a viral video depicting child abuse is ongoing.”
The blog added on March 16, “Detectives in the Crimes Against Children Unit began an investigation this morning, after the viral video surfaced on YouTube and other social media platforms. The video shows a woman and several children. The investigation focuses on a household in the Essex/Middle River area. No charges have been filed at this time. The children have been transferred to the Department of Social Services and are now in the care of family members.”
According to The New York Post, no charges had been filed in the case as of March 17, but police said “officers had picked up the woman in the video for questioning. The children in the video have been transferred to the care of the Department of Social Services, police said.”
The Baltimore Child Abuse Center received over 200 emails from people concerned about the children, according to The Post.
5. Pietro Is From Maryland & Says on Facebook That She is Married & Has Four Children
On Facebook, Pietro says she “went to Chesapeake High School” and lives in Middle River, Maryland.
She says she is married and from Essex, Maryland. She frequently posts photos of her children and writes about them on Facebook.
She wrote in 2016 on Facebook, “In 30 mins ill be married to my hubby for a year n I been with him for 5 years. We have been thru so much in so little time. After I made a mistake we sat down n talked we both cried to each other n let things out n since than my husband is changing into the man I fell in love with he cooks he cleans he helps with the kids more he listens to me we now watch tv together we cuddle he shows alot more affection n gives me more attention n so much more I hope he continues to be this man I love u baby happy 1yr wedding anniversary.”