Friday, December 4, 2009

Dad assaults 5-month-old daughter on overnight visit (Seneca, South Carolina)

Dad BRYANT LEE EPPERSON was apparently not married to or living with the mother or their 5-month-old daughter. This is clear, as he asked the mother if he could "keep his child for the evening." These days, the pressure is on for mothers to allow for "father-infant bonding" and visitation or they're labeled alienators and liars, and will be banned from getting child support. They could even lose custody. So Mom allowed the overnight visit.

Note that Dad's sister had been babysitting earlier in the evening while Dad was at work. He didn't get home till 10 PM (So much for that bonding time). Then the baby woke up around 6:30 in the morning and was crying. (From my feeble recollection of the days when my children were babies, it seems that babies do that a lot.) Well, Daddy says he was "not yet ready to get up." So Daddy got "angry" and pressed his hand over the baby's mouth and face till she "stopped crying"--about 5 minutes later. The sister later found the baby on the floor bleeding from the mouth. Still alive, but with severe bruising to the face. The sister took the baby to the hospital, not the dad, who stayed in bed.

Why do babies need overnight visits with dads who are not committed to the mother, the baby, or to making a family together? The short answer: They don't.

Police: Man assaulted his infant daughter

By Andrew Moore
Originally published December 4, 2009, 12:00 a.m. EST. Updated December 4, 2009, 08:20 a.m. EST

SENECA — A 22-year-old Seneca man was in jail Thursday after allegedly assaulting his infant daughter, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) confirmed Thursday.

On Tuesday morning, deputies were dispatched to Oconee Medical Center, and upon arrival, doctors brought the officers’ attention to an infant who’d been brought in with severe bruising to the face.

Attending physicians told investigators the bruising was not consistent with injuries usually sustained in a fall or any other accidental incident, and that it appeared something had been forced into the infant’s mouth and face.

According to the report, the infant female, who was born just five months ago, suffered from severe bruising from “one ear to the other, all the way across her face,” and also had blood coming from both of her lips, which were also severely bruised.

The mother spoke with officers and said her daughter had been healthy before the incident, telling investigators that the child’s biological father, Bryant Lee Epperson, had asked to keep his child for the evening. When Epperson was questioned about the incident, he told them he’d returned to his Seneca home from work around 10 p.m. on Nov. 30, where his sister had been watching his daughter. He told officers they went to bed at approximately 1 a.m. in the same bed, and that she’d woken up at 6:30 a.m. crying, but he was not yet ready to get up.

At that point, according to the suspect’s statements to investigators, he became angry with the child and took his hand and pressed it over her mouth until she stopped crying, adding he’d held his hand over his daughter’s mouth and face for approximately five minutes before he went back to sleep.

The child was later found on the floor, bleeding from her mouth. According to the incident report, the suspect’s sister rushed the child to the hospital while Epperson stayed in bed.

Oconee Medical Center officials confirmed the child was treated and released from the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Epperson is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and was in jail at Oconee County Detention Center on a $50,000 surety bond, Thursday.