Atlantic City Mayor and His Wife Accused of Threatening and Physically Abusing Their Teenage Daughter

Marty Small, Sr. and his wife La’Quetta Small were both charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child

<p>Donald Kravitz/Getty Images</p>

Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

The Atlantic City Mayor and his wife have been charged with endangering the welfare of their teenage daughter, according to authorities.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday that Marty Small, Sr., 50, and his wife, La’Quetta Small, 47, were both charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly assaulting their daughter when she was 15 and 16.

Marty was also charged with third-degree terroristic threats, third degree aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault, while La’Quetta, who works as Atlantic City’s superintendent of schools, faces three separate counts of disorderly persons simple assault, according to the office.

The charges stem from alleged incidents of abuse that occurred between December 2023 and January 2024, during which time Marty allegedly “hit his daughter multiple times with a broom,” which caused her to “lose consciousness,” according to the release. During another incident, he allegedly "repeatedly" punched his daughter in the legs causing bruising.

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The prosecutor’s office claimed that Marty also “continuously threatened” to hurt his daughter during one argument by “earth slamming” her down the stairs and “grabbing her head and throwing her to the ground."

Authorities also alleged that La’Quetta “punched” her daughter on at least two separate occasions, including one incident where she punched her “multiple times on her chest." She is also accused of dragging her daughter “by the hair” and striking her with a belt.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said the incidents were investigated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit.

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Marty’s attorney Edwin Jacobs did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on the charges.

However, he told Associated Press and The New York Times in a statement that the matter “has absolutely nothing to do with any improprieties in the mayor’s office." Jacobs further shared that it involved “a private family matter, including the challenges that Mayor Small and his wife have dealt with raising a teenage daughter.”

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He also told the AP that the couple's daughter had not been removed from their home, saying, “This is an intact family. She’s right where she belongs.”

Investigators reportedly began looking into abuse allegations in the Small family home in late January after their teenage daughter wrote the word "abuse" during a mental health activity in school and said that she would “like a counselor," according to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC Philadelphia.

The teenager then detailed the abuse to a staff member at her high school who referred her to the principal. The principal then made a report to the Department of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P). The teen also allegedly shared with a therapist during a telehealth session around that time that her parents had been physically and emotionally abusing her and cited three separate incidents, per NBC Philadelphia.

Small’s home was previously searched on March 28, and a few days later, the family attended a news conference in which he said he “had nothing to hide,” NBC Philadelphia reported.

“We’re going through family therapy, and that’s what this should be, a family matter,” he said during the press conference, per the AP.

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