Nephi man charged with felony child abuse after allegedly injuring 2-month-old son

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

NEPHI, Utah, Aug. 22, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Nephi man is facing a charge of child abuse, a second-degree felony, after he allegedly injured his 2-month-old son.

A probable cause statement from the 4th District Court of Juab County said Nicholas J. Peterson, 20, was arrested Tuesday.

On Monday, an officer took a report of child abuse from Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, the statement said. The hospital was reporting a 2-month-old child was in the hospital with numerous broken and healing bones. They stated the child was initially taken to Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi for medical problems. X-rays were done on the child and because of the broken and healing bones, the child was transported by Life Flight to Primary Children’s.

Doctors performed an examination on the child, where they found six broken ribs, four on the right side and two on the left side.

“The hospital advised they can say the breaks took place roughly ten or more days from the time of examination due to the breaks beginning to heal,” the statement said. “While talking with a social worker at Primary Children’s Hospital it was reported that there was also a buckle-type fracture on the ulna closer to the ankle area. It was reported the arm had a fracture and the elbow had been possibly dislocated and then relocated.”

The bruising found on the baby was not consistent with how the incident was being reported to doctors, the statement said.

“There was a bruise with some scratches on the baby’s cheek, along with bruising on the child’s head more so in the hair line, and behind the baby’s ear,” the statement said. “There was bruising in the palm of the baby’s hand along with a mark on the baby’s finger. There was also bruising on the abdomen and upper chest area. There was a bruise located on the baby’s butt cheek with scuffing or skin removed from the baby’s bottom.”

Some other concerns were a lateral bruise on the baby’s forearm and bruising along the upper thigh.

It was reported to doctors by the father, Peterson, that the baby had been sleeping in a bassinet, the statement said, while the father was in the other room watching TV or playing video games. The roommate mentioned to the father the baby was crying in his room.

“When the father entered the room the father mentioned the bassinet was on its side and the baby had fallen out of the bassinet and landed on and under the futon bed, and a hamper,” the statement said. “The father mentioned to the doctors that he believed the cat knocked the bassinet over while the baby was sleeping.”

While interviewing the father and mother it was reported the baby didn’t have any of the bruises or marks on his body earlier that day. It was found that the father was watching the baby all day and mother had been at work since leaving the house around noon.

Peterson was transported to Juab County Jail with his bail set at $10,000.




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