Torture case generates 60,000 pages of evidence

The defense requested more time in the Jorden Nicole Borders case as they work through all the evidence uncovered in the case.

The Crow Wing County Judicial Center is off Laurel Street in Brainerd.

BRAINERD — Defense attorneys sought a continuance as they work to go through more than 60,000 pages of evidence in the case against a 32-year-old Crosslake woman who is accused of torturing her three young children.

Jorden Nicole Borders.jpg
Jorden Nicole Borders.

Jorden Nicole Borders is charged with three serious felony counts of child torture and three felony counts of stalking. 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.

Appearing Monday, Feb. 13, before Crow Wing County District Court Judge Patricia Aanes via Zoom, Borders, along with her attorney Mark Hansen, requested a continuance as they work to go through over 60,000 pages of evidence.

Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Janine LePage, representing the state, did not object to the request, which was granted by Aanes.

Borders’ next court appearance is scheduled for 4 p.m. April 18 in Crow Wing County District Court.


Aggravated sentencing

On Jan. 24, LePage filed a notice informing Borders and her attorney of the state's intent to seek an enhanced sentence if she is found guilty.

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When an upward departure in sentencing is sought, the state makes a determination based on the history of the individual involved together with the type of conduct involved in a particular crime, said Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan.

The listed aggravating factors in the case are:

  • The victims were all particularly vulnerable due to their ages and the isolated nature of their residence, which was located on 9 acres and had cameras monitoring the driveway. Defendant knew of these vulnerabilities. Due to their ages, all three victims were unable to flee from the defendant and were unable to shield themselves, or each other, from the defendant's abuse.
  • Defendant violated her position of authority and trust as the mother of all three children.
  • During the commission of the crimes against each of the children, generally one or both of the other children were present and either saw or heard the abuse. All three children describe being present and watching the defendant assault, strangle, threaten and refuse to feed the other siblings. Additionally, the defendant made two children assist her in dumping the other's blood down the toilet after she would unnecessarily draw blood from the child before medical appointments. 

If found guilty, the state would ask the court to impose an aggravated sentence, up to the statutory maximum and to impose consecutive sentences for each victim.

Borders’ charges

Borders was charged Nov. 21 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.

Doctors from multiple health care systems — puzzled by one of Borders’ children’s unexplained health problems over the course of three years — began to share similar and troubling suspicions of abuse. A July 13 application for a search warrant filed by the Sheriff’s Office detailed extensive efforts by professionals to settle on cohesive diagnoses for him before Borders’ arrest. While a litany of surgeries, procedures and unusual test results failed to clarify the 9-year-old boy’s conditions, it led to speculation about Borders’ role in causing or fabricating his illnesses.

The 9-year-old wasn’t the only child affected by Borders’ alleged abuse. The criminal complaint outlining the charges filed against Borders revealed she apparently self-diagnosed two of her other children — an 11-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl — with osteogenesis imperfecta, known as brittle bones disease. Borders’ Facebook profile, the majority of which is no longer public, showed references to the disease in relation to her children dating back to at least 2016.

The children's interviews with authorities included descriptions of other kinds of physical and emotional abuse.


Crow Wing County placed the 9-year-old in protective custody in May. Community Services monitored the care of the other two children before they were also removed from the home in July. Borders was not allowed unsupervised contact with the children after their removal. With the criminal charges filed against Borders, one of her conditions of release barred her from contact with anyone under 18.

Borders and her husband Christopher Martin Badowicz later agreed to terminate their parental rights in a Dec. 2 court hearing. Badowicz is the father of two of the three children involved in the case and was himself charged with a felony after he allegedly tried to help his wife evade arrest.

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.

Both Borders and Badowicz are out of jail awaiting their next court dates.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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