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Reaves doctor pleads not guilty

By Kathy Jefcoats

An Eagle's Landing pediatrician who prosecutors say saw signs of physical abuse on a Stockbridge girl and failed to report it pleaded not guilty in the case Thursday morning.

Dr. Catherine T. Mauer appeared in Henry Superior Court with her attorney, Craig Gillen, to enter a not guilty plea to failure to report child abuse.

Mauer, out on bond since her February arrest, did not offer a statement in court.

Flint Circuit prosecutors say Mauer attended to Joella Reaves, 11, during an Oct. 22 office visit. The Feb. 19 indictment returned by the Henry grand jury alleges that Mauer, "having reasonable cause to believe that Joella Monique Carter Reaves, a child, had been abused," failed to report the abuse as required under Georgia law.

Joella, a student at Eagle's Landing Middle School, was found beaten to death in her home Dec. 1. Her father, Rodney Reaves, and stepmother, Charlott Reaves, have been indicted for murder in the case and face the death penalty if convicted. They are being held in the Henry County Jail.

Charlott Reaves is due to make her first appearance in Superior Court May 19.

Rodney Reaves is undergoing a mental evaluation as requested by his court-appointed attorneys, Gary Bowman and Ruppert Philips, during a March 16 first appearance hearing. It is anticipated that he will be arraigned once that evaluation is complete.

Former Eagle's Landing Middle School counselor Patricia White and school nurse Carolyn Clemons n both fired after Joella's death n also entered not guilty pleas to failure to report child abuse in connection with the case during the same March 16 court hearing. Clemons is also charged with lying to police about the abuse.

Both women remain out on bond and maintain their innocence.

A trial date has not been set in the case. Charlott and Rodney Reaves will be prosecuted separately.