HOUSTON — An attorney for a former Houston-area dentist accused of causing a 4-year-old patient’s brain damage says he’d like people to understand there’s a difference between an accidental mistake and criminal behavior.

Lawyer Morgan Bourque’s comments came as ex-dentist Bethaniel Jefferson made her initial court appearance Monday. State District Judge Marc Carter prohibited the 40-year-old Jefferson from practicing dentistry or consulting while her case is pending. She remains free on $50,000 bond.

A grand jury in Houston last week indicted Jefferson on a felony charge of causing serious bodily injury to a child for failing provide prompt medical attention after the child suffered a seizure that led to permanent brain damage.

The Texas Board of Dental Examiners previously reprimanded Jefferson in 2005 and 2012. The board revoked her license in November.

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