A man accused of abusing his girlfriend’s disabled baby so severely the 19-month old died from her injuries went on to marry her and have another child, according to reports.
Jake Don Jensen, 29, faces charges of child abuse and child abuse homicide after the baby, named in court documents only as SM, died.
Reports said Mr Jensen married his girlfriend, Stephanie Mahaffey, and had a child after the youngster’s death.
Police were called to the Cottonwood Heights, Utah, home of the baby’s mother, Mr Jensen and Mr Jensen’s mother in January 2016 to reports of SM having a seizure.
The fit stopped by the time emergency services arrived but paramedics advised the baby’s parents to take her to hospital in the coming days, Deseret News reported.
Court documents allege the couple didn’t act on that advice and, two days later, the child, who had cerebral palsy, had another seizure, following which she died.
After her death, doctors discovered the baby had sustained injuries to her legs that it is alleged had not been reported to the hospital.
Medics at the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City said the injuries were “most consistent with severe child physical abuse, given the lack of any other adequate explanation for either her broken legs or the head and eye injuries”, according to court documents seen by the paper.
The final autopsy said the cause of death was homicide as there was no explanation for the subdural haemorrhages thought to have been caused two to three days before SM’s death.
SM’s mother has not been charged.
Mr Jensen’s bail has been set at $500,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on 10 August for an initial appearance hearing.