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Pocatello woman charged after allegedly abusing 17-month-old

Bannock County Courthouse | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
POCATELLO — A woman police say abused a toddler, leaving him limp and in need of emergency care, faces a felony charge.
Saqoya Aren Wight, 22, has been charged with one count of aggravated battery, court records show.
Sept. 23, 2023
Pocatello police officers were dispatched to Portneuf Medical Center after receiving a call reporting child abuse, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The caller told police that a 17-month-old boy suffered “serious head trauma” and that it did not appear to have been caused by an accident.
Due to the injuries, the child was to be life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, the affidavit says.
Upon arrival at Portneuf Medical Center, officers spoke with a triage nurse who was responsible for the victim’s intake at the hospital on Sept. 22. The nurse told officers the victim was brought in on Sept. 22 to be treated for vomiting and lethargy.
The nurse said the victim did not have visible bruises upon arrival at the hospital but that the following day there was bruising on the left side of the child’s face and head. Furthermore, the child, the nurse said, could not lift his right arm or leg.
Officers spoke with the victim’s father.
The father told officers the child was in Wight’s care. He said Wight called him and told him that Wight took a TV remote from the child and that he responded by throwing himself on the ground and, in doing so, had hit his head on the ground.
He recalled Wight telling him the child was “like a paralyzed baby,” the affidavit says.
The father said he took his child to the emergency room for a stomach illness he had been suffering before the head injury. The child was treated and released.
Then, the following morning, he noticed the child was struggling to stand. That was also when he noticed bruising and swelling on the child’s face, so he took the child back to the emergency room.
Officers speak with Wight
While at the hospital, officers also spoke with Wight. She said she was with the child all morning and that he was complaining about a stomach bug.
She said that she caught the child using a TV remote he was not supposed to be using, so she took the remote from him. The child, Wight said, responded with a “tantrum” and threw himself on the ground.
Wight said the child went “completely limp,” so she called the boy’s father.
Officers again spoke with the triage nurse responsible for the child’s intake. The nurse said when the child was brought the day before, no one reported that the child had hit his head and gone limp.
Officers then spoke with an on-site CPS caseworker. According to the affidavit, officers were concerned about the fact that the child going limp after a fall had not been included in medical reports or monitored by medical staff.
Sept. 24, 2023
Officers spoke with another of the child’s family members, who said they were aware of other injuries he had sustained during reported falls while under the care of Wight. The family member expressed suspicions that Wight was abusing the child.
Sept. 25, 2023
Officers spoke with a doctor at Primary Children’s Hospital. The doctor made her medical records available to the officers and said the child was being treated for retinal hemorrhages, subdural hematomas on both sides of the skull and bruising on both cheeks.
According to the affidavit, the doctor described the boy’s father as “appropriately protective” while sitting bedside throughout the child’s treatment.
The doctor’s “expert medical opinion” was that the child’s injuries were the result of “abusive head trauma and not from a ground-level fall as reported,” the affidavit says. She also ruled out a shaking injury.
As officers continued their investigation, they searched the home where the injuries occurred. According to the affidavit, the house was dirty and had a rifle that would have been easily accessible to the child.
They asked Wight for a descriptive outline of the incident. She told officers she would not have hurt the child, being the victim of abuse as a child herself.
Over the course of an investigation that spanned several months, officers spoke with several friends and family members of the victim’s father as well as friends and family members of Wight. Some of the witnesses interviewed provided details that contradicted what Wight told officers.
Details outlining what led to Wight’s charges were not included in the affidavit, but charges were filed on April 8. Wight was not arrested, rather she was served a court summons and appeared via video for an arraignment hearing on April 22.
Charges were bound over to District Court following a May 13 preliminary hearing.
Though Wight has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If she is found guilty, Wight would face up to 15 years in prison.
The post Pocatello woman charged after allegedly abusing 17-month-old appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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