Despite police reports, an aunt says she did not make niece kneel on cheese grater as punishment

Suspect: I didn't abuse my niece

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The woman Boynton Beach Police say forced her niece to kneel on a cheese grater for up to six hours as punishment says her niece is making up the allegations.

Reached by telephone Monday, Yolette Baptiste says the allegations are false and she was only trying to keep her niece off the street and away from drugs.

"I did want to scare her and punish her, but I never did the things she said," Baptiste said over the phone.

According to police reports, Baptiste was upset her 17-year-old niece was skipping school and punished her by making her kneel on a cheese grater for hours.

Authorities said they could see discoloration in the teenager's legs.

Neighbors were shocked to hear the allegations and say the family is quiet and respectful.

"This is disturbing. That is not a technique I would use to discipline my child. She is very quiet and it's hard to believe," neighbor Tasha Ford said.

According to police reports, the teenager said her aunt would bang her head up against the wall and threatened to poke her eyes out if she called police.

In the report, Baptiste admitted to slapping the girl, but she says she never used a cheese grater.

She was released from jail on a $3,000 bond. The teenager is in the custody of her aunt's boyfriend according to police reports.

On the phone Monday, Baptiste said she has not seen her niece.

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