Oregon baby-sitter arrested for smacking 1-year-old, leaving gruesome bruises
A babysitter who appeared to have escaped charges for allegedly smacking an Oregon 1-year-old has been arrested for abuse.
Markell Hilaire pleaded not guilty Monday to accusations that he assaulted Jacob Marbury in March, leaving him with a black eye and a palm print on his face.
“I’m so extremely upset, it’s disturbing, on this little innocent baby,” the infant’s mother, Alicia Quinney,told the Daily News last month.
Joshua Marbury said that the 27-year-old babysitter, formerly his best friend, had originally claimed that his son fell, but later confessed to the attack.
The father said that little Jacob now has a breakdown whenever his mother leaves, and became frustrated that authorities had not pressed charges two months after the injuries.
Prosecutors’ lack of action appeared to stem from the fact that the infant victim could not articulate that he was abused and suffered “substantial pain.”
“Something needs to be done. NOBODY can just hit a child and more to just get away with it because the child can’t verbally tell you,” Marbury said on Facebook.
His social media outrage was eventually shared more than 400,000 times and led to international disbelief over the incongruity between the baby’s brutal injuries and the official response.
Faced with mounting pressure, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office said in late May that child abuse laws in Oregon need to change, pointing out that bruises are not classified as “physical injury” for non-verbal children but are for dogs.
A Change.org petition asking for a 2012 law on child abuse to be amended has gathered more than 55,000 signatures.
The district attorney announced Monday that Hilaire had been arrested, but did not give any details as to what suddenly lead to the criminal mistreatment and assault charges.
Prosecutor Dustin Staten told The Oregonian that investigators realized there was more work to be done after seeing the photos that Marbury shared with the world.
“At this point our case is in the hands of the justice system,” Quinney posted, thanking those who shared her horror story and offered support.
Hilaire remained in custody Monday night on a $10,000 bail, according to jail records.
His aunt, Dionee Hilaire, said that the suspect had been drinking, before blaming Marbury and Quinney for leaving their son and his older sister with him.