A 10-month-old infant has died from injuries suffered from a vicious sexual assault perpetrated by the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother, police report.
Police in Charleston, West Virginia, arrested 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor and charged him with first-degree sexual assault after the child was found unresponsive in an apartment building basement. But after the child died from its injuries, officials upgraded the charge to murder, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
The child died after life support was removed on October 5.
The child’s mother, Amanda Adkins, told first responders that she found the child unconscious in the basement and that Taylor told her the child “blacked out” when he had her with him while he was “doing laundry.”
Despite the story, police reported finding bloody blankets and baby clothing in the laundry room and a later hospital examination not only revealed trauma caused by sexual assault but found bruises and cuts on the child’s face that was likely caused by repeated strikes to the face and head.
According to reports from the infant’s family, the child’s mother and Taylor had only been dating a short time before the man was invited to move into the woman’s home.
The mother’s cousin told the Gazette-Mail that the woman is still in disbelief. “Amanda’s main concern was that there was going to be some miraculous event and that [the baby] is going to open her eyes. I just think reality just hasn’t hit her yet,” Danielle Adkins said.
The infant’s mother has three other children living in the home.
Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said he was entirely shocked by the crime.
“I’ve been here 25 years, and we’ve never encountered something of this nature,” Boggs exclaimed. “I don’t know if we’ve had anything like this near here.”
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