A 24-year-old father in Indiana was arrested on suspicion of repeatedly biting his newborn daughter, leaving “mouth-shaped bruises” and teeth marks all over the newborn’s body.
Gavan Rogers was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of employee neglect resulting in bodily harm and one count of domestic battery with bodily harm to a person under 14, both misdemeanors, court records examined by the Law&Crime show.
Rogers and the mother of the baby took their 2-week-old daughter to Witham Hospital in Lebanon on Nov. 3 for a regularly scheduled checkup, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Law & Crime. Shortly after arriving at the facility, hospital staff told authorities they discovered suspicious bruises on the boy’s forearms, stomach, shoulders, knees and legs.
Staff transferred the boy to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and contacted the Whitestown Police Department.
Whitestown is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
A doctor at the children’s hospital reported that the little girl appeared to have multiple bruises, many of which included visible teeth marks.Upon arrival at children’s hospital, the detective learned that after the baby was born at Witham Hospital, several nurses filed disturbing reports saying they heard Rogers “making aggressive and hurtful comments about his daughter, to his daughter,” the detective says. ‘affidavit. Such comments purportedly included Rogers referring to the baby as “mean” and calling her a “little bitch” and “ungrateful” when the baby was in the NICU.
A few days later, the same nurse would again witness an alarming interaction between Rogers and her baby, writing that she saw a “distinct difference” in the baby’s behavior when being handled by Rogers compared to the baby’s mother.
“One more time in the room, [Rogers] she had the baby fully undressed and lay on his lap. The baby was physically cold and crying as he watched and recorded videos of him crying,” the affidavit states. “I am not comfortable sending this baby home to the care of [father of the baby].”
Witham’s nursing staff also noted that Rogers seemed to get particularly frustrated when his daughter cried and took longer to explain the danger posed by shaking the baby.
In an interview with a Whitestown police detective, Rogers said he has been with the little girl and her mother in Whitestown for the past two weeks, but normally lives with her parents in Greencastle, located about 50 miles southwest of Whitestown.
When asked about his daughter’s injuries, Rogers told the alleged hospital workers that she likely “gape-kissed” or “bited” the baby too forcefully. He later told the detective that he must have “gnawed too hard” on the baby when she was fully dressed.
The detective at the scene wrote that he counted what appeared to be “at least six” bite marks on the newborn.
“These injuries could only have been inflicted using excessive force, which would have caused severe pain to the [victim]”, says the affidavit.
Rogers is expected to appear before Boone County Judge Lori N. Schein for his first hearing on Friday, court documents show.
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