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Court Discusses Heart Breaking Child Abuse Case


On June 9, 2009, a little girl was taken into custody in New York by the Administration for Child Services. The child who was only four years old had only been returned to her natural parents for a few months. When she was only ten months old, her parents were charged with abusing her. At that time, she had several broken ribs, broken arm and numerous contusions and bruises that were in differing degrees of recovery. She had one burn to the back of her neck that was so severe that the skin was lifting off of it. At that time, she and her three other siblings were removed from the home. Neither parent could give a reasonable explanation for the injuries that the little baby girl had suffered. She and her siblings lived apart from their parents for three years while the Administration for Child Services worked to reunite the family.

In February of 2009, the little girl who was then four years old, was returned to her parents along with two of her siblings. By this time, her mother had given birth to two more children. Within five months of being returned to the home, the mother showed up at a local medical center with the child. She stated that the child had burned her elbow by touching an electrical outlet when she got out of the shower. The nurse practitioner who saw the child did not believe that this account of how the child was injured made any sense at all. She determined that there was no reasonable way that a child could sustain such a severe burn on her elbow from touching an electrical outlet with her hand after exiting the shower. Further, she noticed that the child had bruises, cuts, and scratches all over her body. These included a fresh bite mark on her heel. The burn itself on her elbow was a deep tissue second degree burn. This type of burn would have been very painful and it is doubtful that the child would have suffered this type of injury without crying in pain.

The mother changed her story at that point about how the injury happened. She began to claim that she was doing her husband’s hair while sitting on the sofa. He was sitting on the floor in front of her. She asked him to hand her the hairdryer that was sitting on a table close to him. She claims that the little girl ran to get the hair dryer for her. She stated that she was concerned because the child had a glass of water in her hand and did not want her to get electrocuted by the hair dryer, so she grabbed her arm. She stated that the child did not cry out or mention that she was injured in any way. She stated that later that night when she went to check on the children, she noticed that the child’s arm was swelling. She stated that she took the child into the bathroom and put a warm compress on her arm. She stated that she thought that a warm compress would reduce the swelling. She also stated that she did not use ice because ice makes the child turn black and blue. She stated that the following morning when she tried to remove the compress, the child’s skin came off on the bandage. She stated that she called her grandmother and asked her what she should do. The grandmother came over and they took the child to the same emergency care clinic that they had used before. The clinic called an ambulance and had the child transported to a full service emergency room to be treated for her injuries.

The doctor who treated her stated under oath that the child suffered from deep tissue burns to her elbow that required surgical removal of the skin. He stated that the child would at the very least be scarred for the rest of her life from this injury. But he also stated that he had observed a cut to the childs forehead just above her eye. He stated that she had cuts, scratches and bruises that were in varying degrees of healing. He also stated that in his professional opinion, there was no way that the child could have sustained the burn to her arm in the manner that her mother claimed that she had burned it. He stated that her version of the details leading up to the injury to the child were not believable. He stated that there was no way that a second degree deep tissue burn could have occurred in this fashion. The mother stated that she had used a warm compress to reduce the swelling in the child’s arm from where she had grabbed her. The doctor stated that the temperature necessary to create a wound like the one that the child suffered would have required prolonged exposure to temperatures that would have been too hot for the mother to have applied by hand. He further stated that the child would have been screaming in pain at the heat. The warm compress theory is not believable based on the evidence. The mother’s contention that she had applied the compress herself using only her hands on the cloth cannot ring true under the circumstances because the cloth would have been too hot for the woman to have held it bare handed. The ACS worker who reviewed the case agreed.

The ACS worker also pointed out that the mother had given the same story three years earlier about how the child had obtained the burn to the back of her neck. She had stated at that time that she had only applied a warm compress to the back of the child’s neck and that she had not known that it would burn her. The court reviewed the issues and also questions the warm compress story especially in light of the fact that she used this story once before in order to avoid penalties associated with intentional child abuse. The child herself stated that her mother had burned her with a cloth. The father refused to appear in court after missing several court dates. As a whole, the horrible abuse that this child has suffered is inexcusable and all six of the children were removed from the home.

The parents have delivered six children into the world and failed to provide a minimum standard of care to them. Evidence exposed at trial revealed that the other children were sometimes in the room and participated in injuring this child. In cases where one child is targeted out of all of the children, the other children are removed to prevent them from being harmed as well when the target child is removed from the parents. The mother stated that she did not know why things just happen to this one child. No legitimate explanation has ever been given for the injuries that the child suffered.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its child abuse Lawyers, have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Our child custody lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations. Without a personal injury attorney, you could lose precious compensation to help your family.

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