Minnesota mother accused of torturing her children appears in court
Jorden Nicole Borders, 32, of Crosslake, Minnesota, is expected to agree to the termination of her parental rights in a Friday court hearing.
BRAINERD, Minn. — For the first time since posting bond, a 32-year-old Crosslake, Minnesota, woman facing multiple counts of child torture and stalking appeared Thursday, Dec. 1, in Crow Wing County District Court.
The criminal case against Jorden Nicole Borders was assigned to Judge Patricia Aanes, who presided over Thursday’s hearing. Borders appeared before Aanes via Zoom.
Borders was charged Nov. 21 with three serious felony counts of child torture and three felony counts of stalking following a child maltreatment investigation beginning in May by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed Borders allegedly tortured her three young children through actions like withdrawing blood, forcing them to wear casts and neck braces despite not having injuries and inflicting frequent physical abuse as punishment.
Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Janine LePage asked Aanes to wait on a domestic abuse-no contact order as the children were not in Borders’ custody and Borders planned to agree to the termination of her parental rights in a 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, hearing. Aanes accepted the request.
Borders, along with Public Defender Mark Hansen, asked for time to go over the paperwork and evidence. Hansen and LePage agreed on a hearing date of Feb. 23, 2023.
Crow Wing County placed one of the children in protective custody in May, according to the Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office. The other two children were removed from the home near the beginning of July. Borders was not allowed unsupervised contact with the children. With the criminal charges filed against Borders, one of her conditions of release barred her from contact with anyone under 18.
Asked when the first report of possible child maltreatment report was made against Borders, Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan declined to provide specifics.
“I understand that there’s a lot of public concern, and justifiably so,” Ryan said. “However, we will try these cases in the courtroom where they belong, and we’re not going to get into a lot of public discussion.”
The torture charges carry a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison, a $35,000 fine or both. The penalty for the stalking charges includes a maximum of 10 years of prison time and/or a $20,000 fine.
Stalking is described in Minnesota statute as when the perpetrator knows — or has reason to know — they would cause a victim to feel terrorized or to fear bodily harm, and when their actions do cause those feelings.
Child torture charges
The child maltreatment investigation began after Children’s Minnesota hospital in the Twin Cities treated one of Borders’ children around mid-March for dropping hemoglobin numbers, according to the criminal complaint. The hospital monitored the child and determined the only explanation for the condition appeared to be someone removing blood from their body.
An interview with the children conducted Nov. 21 by authorities revealed their mother frequently withdrew blood from the child using stolen syringes and they were instructed not to tell anyone.
Borders received financial assistance from the state of Minnesota to care for this child and was nominated to receive several gifts and money from nonprofit foundations in the area, the complaint stated, totaling more than $35,000. Ryan said Thursday his office is reviewing facts of the case related to the financial support Borders received for possible additional criminal charges.
As part of the investigation, authorities learned Borders also allegedly self-diagnosed her other two children as suffering from osteogenesis imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle bones disease. One child wore a cast fashioned by Borders for 796 days, or about two years and two months.
Aanes was assigned the case after Judge Mark S. Wernick set Borders’ bail/bond at $200,000 without conditions and $125,000 with conditions in a Monday hearing. Borders posted a conditional bond Tuesday.
Conditions of release from jail include Borders remaining law-abiding, making all future court appearances, maintaining contact with her attorney, keeping the court informed of her current address, not possessing or using firearms or dangerous weapons, not leaving the state without written court approval and not having contact with people under the age of 18.
Wernick, who retired from the Fourth Judicial District in 2014, was assigned to serve statewide as a senior judge through 2023. The judge and other senior judges have assisted with some court proceedings in Crow Wing County as the judicial system continues to work through the backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan said.
Aiding torture suspect
Borders’ husband Christopher Martin Badowicz, 37, of Crosslake faces felony aiding an offender to avoid arrest after allegedly helping Borders on Nov. 23.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Badowicz, on the evening of Nov. 23 law enforcement officers attempted to locate Borders, who shares a residence with Badowicz in Crosslake. After dark, an officer made his way through the woods behind the residence and observed Borders and Badowicz sitting together in the living room.
With Borders identified, officers responded to the home. The responding officers noted security cameras pointed down the driveway as they were walking up to the house.
The officer behind the house saw both people stand inside before officers reached the home. They saw Borders run into a bedroom as Badowicz exited the home and met officers in the driveway.
After detaining Badowicz outside the house, officers told him they had a warrant for Borders’ arrest, the complaint stated. Badowicz told officers Borders was not there. He also told officers the police were at the house multiple times already, which confirmed he was aware law enforcement were seeking Borders.
The officer behind the house approached the window of the room Borders ran to and told her she was seen and to come out. Borders came to the front door, where she was met by Crow Wing County deputies and taken into custody.
Badowicz was charged with felony aiding an offender to avoid arrest. The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. He is due in court again Dec. 6.
Badowicz is the father of two of the three children involved in this case. A decade earlier, Badowicz was involved in a separate case of a child in need of protection or services. In that case, the custody of a child in Badowicz’s care was transferred to another individual in June 2012. According to the Crow Wing County Attorney’s Office, the juvenile in the 2012 case was not one of the children removed from Borders’ and Badowicz’s care this year.