Talent mom arrested for abuse

Talent mom arrested for abuse

A 45-year-old rural Talent woman faces felony abuse charges for allegedly beating her two children for years with belts and spatulas and feeding them marijuana, authorities said.

Valery Lee Podsobinski also allegedly beat her teenage son and daughter with paddles and wooden spoons in what police called ongoing physical and mental abuse that included giving them edible forms of marijuana, according to investigators.

"The allegation is that she was feeding marijuana to her kids in cookies and brownies and at least one case in which she had her son chew on marijuana for headaches," Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston said Monday.

The abuse was discovered by authorities in January, and the 13-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl were removed from Podsobinski's residence and the case was investigated by several agencies, authorities said. The children since have been living at an undisclosed location, police said.

The abuse occurred weekly "and had been ongoing for years," said Oregon State Police Detective Tom Harrison, who investigated the case.

A Jackson County grand jury on Thursday indicted Podsobinski on a dozen charges, eight of which were felonies, court records show.

She also appeared that day in Jackson County Circuit Court, where she pleaded not guilty to the charges, then was booked at the Jackson County Jail and released on her own recognizance, court records show.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Bloom set Podsobinski's next court appearance for April 18 and required her to have no contact with the children, records show.

Court records show that Medford attorney Vance Waliser appeared with Podsobinski in Thursday's hearing. Waliser did not return a telephone call Monday seeking comment.

The most serious of the charges are two counts of applying a controlled substance to a minor, which is a Class A felony under Oregon law.

The rare charge alleges the unlawful giving of a controlled substance by ingestion, inhalation or injection, Huddleston said. In this case, the acts are alleged crimes because the victims were minors, Huddleston said.

Podsobinski also entered not guilty pleas to two counts of distribution of marijuana to a minor, possession of marijuana and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, all felonies.

Podsobinski also pleaded not guilty to two counts each of felony fourth-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and recklessly endangering another person.

Court records show that both victims testified before the grand jury in the case.

A records search turned up no previous criminal convictions for Podsobinski in Oregon. Harrison said he knew of no other previous abuse allegations against Podsobinski.

The case was investigated jointly by the OSP's Criminal Investigations Division, Talent police and the Child Services Division of the state Department of Human Services.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail at

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