Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dad charged with assaulting 2-month-old daughter (Scranton, Pennsylvania)

Education is the answer to these kinds of crimes? Really?

And maybe the tooth fairy can teach!

In reality, education regarding "shaken baby" syndrome strikes me as relatively pointless. Any parent with any sense knows that you can't mishandle a baby. And for the short-tempered idiots with no impulse control, education isn't going to make a whit of difference.

This is especially the case with young male caretakers/fathers, who dominate as shaken baby perpetrators.

In addition, it is quite apparent if you read these cases carefully that shaking as such is just the tip of the iceberg. This dude also hit the baby and threw her. Are we supposed to educate about that too? And what about lying about what you did?

Dad is identified as JOSH SIMON.

Abused 2-month-old still critical; abuse could be prevented with education


Published: February 15, 2014

As a 2-month-old Scranton girl fought for her life Friday from head injuries police said her father inflicted, child abuse prevention advocates said education is the key to avoiding such tragedies.

"Think about what it takes to be a parent and make sure you're ready," said Teresa Olsen, acting director of the Pennsylvania chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America.

Police charged Josh Simon, 21, 1354 Sanderson Ave., Wednesday after he violently shook his 2-month-old daughter, Emily Simon, until she stopped breathing. He also struck her once in the face and once on the head and threw her into a couch, police said. Mr. Simon initially blamed her lack of respiration on the flu, according to a criminal complaint. He later admitted the abuse to Scranton Police Special Victims Detective Vincent Uher.

Emily was revived twice at Moses Taylor Hospital before she was flown to Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Danville. A CT scan showed bleeding in her brain.

Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano on Friday said Emily was in very serious condition.

No one is immune to the occasional stressful day, especially in parenting, but anger is no excuse for striking a child, the chief said.

"There's no excuse in the world," he said. "None."

Reports of child abuse are increasingly common, said Mary Ann LaPorta, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The center has seen a 210 percent increase in the number of children seen since 2004 and has assisted more than 8,000 children and adolescents since the center opened in 1998. The spike may be attributable to more people reporting abuse.

"We are all aware of the stresses in life and the stresses in parenting, but when it comes to children there's no excuse for child abuse," Ms. LaPorta said. "How do we become good parents? Strong parents? What are the resources in this resource rich community?"

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Simon shook and struck Emily because he was frustrated by Emily's crying.

A pamphlet from the state Department of Health, which the advocacy center offers to struggling parents, lists several ways to calm a crying child down. Ms. LaPorta urged overwhelmed parents to turn to the center for help.

In addition to education, struggling parents benefit from knowing there is a support system. Ms. LaPorta said the advocacy center is a neutral party that will work with placing the parents with the right agency for help.

"If you don't have support, it does get stressful," said Jennifer Aglialoro, trauma therapist and associate director said. "An infant needs constantly; it's 24 hours a day."

Parents with concerns or questions can contact the center at 570-969-7313, Ms. LaPorta said. Those who suspect child abuse may be occurring can confidentially speak with a Childline counselor at 1-800-932-0313.

Mr. Simon remained in Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail for charges of aggravated assault, attempted simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.