Maine State Police said a Rockport home is where an 18-month-old boy suffered a skull fracture and brain injury this past Saturday. Police also stated the child's mother told them she left for work, and left the child in the care of her boyfriend. But not until the next day was the child rushed to the hospital."
State police said the little boy suffered a fractured skull, bruised brain, four broken ribs and a lacerated liver. They stated doctors told them any one of those injuries could have been fatal.
Police arrested and charged Joseph Emerson, 24, of Warren with two counts of aggravated assault for what they believe are two separate assaults on the child, one in June, and the one Saturday that fractured the boy's skull.
According to court papers, the child's mother said when she got home Saturday night, Emerson said the boy fell off a chair and hit his head. He later told police he dropped the child. Police said he then told them he threw the boy off a bed because the child was hitting him with a toy.
Stevie Coburn, New Hope for Women, said "This poor little boy, he was a helpless victim." Coburn is an advocate for the midcoast domestic violence prevention group "New Hope for Women."
Coburn added "We see a lot of abusers who injure or kill their partner's children. It's tragic. And I wish there was a magic pill that could make it all change, but..."
Police said the child's mother told them she'd seen Emerson get rough with her son, squeeze his ribs, and put his hand over the boy's mouth to stop his crying.
Staff at Maine Medical Center notified state police after finding the child's injuries were not consistent with statements made by the mother. Doctors told police the bruised brain will likely lead to developmental disabilities. Prosecutors said the child faces a long and difficult life because of the injuries he suffered.
Bail was set at $50,000. Because of the seriousness of the child's injuries, if convicted, Emerson could get 30 years behind bars.