Saturday, June 7, 2014

Custodial dad, girlfriend accused of fracturing skull of 10-month-old son; dad had had custody for only FIVE WEEKS (Columbus, Nebraska)

Dad is identified as JUAN TREJO. Appears Daddy basically abused this baby from the time he assumed custody, as the baby had 20 FRACTURES in various states of healing.

City couple heading to trial for child abuse

June 06, 2014 8:00 am • By Jim Osborn

COLUMBUS — A Columbus couple accused of abusing a 10-month-old boy over a two-month period this spring have been bound over for trial in district court.

Judge Frank Skorupa bound over Juan Trejo, 22, and his fiancée, Julie Staroscik, 22, for hearings on felony child abuse charges in connection with an April 22 incident that sent the baby to the hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Skorupa scheduled the couple for arraignment on the charges in district court on June 27.

Trejo has remained in custody at the Platte County Detention Facility since his April 22 arrest and Staroscik has been free on bond since late April.

Trejo, who is the boy’s biological father, is accused of fracturing his son’s skull in multiple places after throwing him to the floor when the baby became fussy and wouldn’t stop crying. He faces three counts of child abuse, each a Class II felony with a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.

Staroscik is not the boy’s biological mother. She faces one count of abuse, a Class IIIA felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Trejo was arrested the day of the April 22 incident after he and Staroscik took the baby to Columbus Community Hospital. Hospital personnel alerted authorities of the suspected child abuse.

The defendants took the boy to the hospital because he was unresponsive and having trouble breathing.

Police removed the baby from the couple’s home and turned him over to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The boy had been living at the couple’s home for about five weeks and Trejo had parental visitations with him prior to that time.

The boy’s biological mother is currently incarcerated.

Trejo and Staroscik are the biological parents of four other children who were in the home at the time of the April 22 incident. Police said those children showed no evidence of abuse.

The boy, who is recovering from his injuries, was transported to Children’s Hospital in Omaha where a bone survey by Dr. Suzanne Haney revealed about 20 fractures to the skull, ribs, both arms and both legs in different stages of healing. The doctor said the bone breaks ranged from about a week old to not more than a couple of months old.

Columbus Police Investigator Bret Strecker said Trejo admitted causing the April 22 injuries to his son when the boy was “crying and screaming and would not stop.”

The defendant said he became frustrated and threw the boy to the ground, Strecker said in a sworn statement supporting the defendant’s arrest.

“He said that he was holding (his son) in his hands while he was standing up,” the sergeant said. “He raised him a bit and then slammed him to the floor of the residence.”

Trejo denied abusing his son at any other time, Strecker said.

Staroscik denied knowledge of any of the boy's injuries.