Man charged with multiple felonies after reportedly assaulting 10-month-old infant
Oscar Ernesto Vides-Cabrera faces felony charges for first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, third-degree assault involving a child under the age of four, third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, and malicious punishment of a child.
WORTHINGTON — A Worthington resident appeared in court on Thursday, May 18, facing felony charges for first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, third-degree assault involving a child under the age of four, third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, and malicious punishment of a child.
Charges stem from a March 18 report of possible child abuse of a 10-month-old infant. The Worthington Police Department was called to the local hospital. The child's mother had brought her to the hospital after her she noticed the infant was stumbling, drowsy and slept most of the day.
A scan of the child victim's head showed multiple intracranial hemorrhages, some of which were new and others that appeared to be from a previous injury.
The victim was airlifted to the Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and placed into protective care. The child was later released back into the mother's care.
Statements from the infant's mother and other family members who cared for the infant on a routine basis were obtained, but the family seemed unsure of how the child was injured. The mother said that the infant fell onto the hardwood floors at her mother's house once, but she had no concerns that her family would ever harm the child. She also stated that her then-boyfriend Oscar Ernesto Vides-Cabrera, 30, of Worthington, told her he had found the infant outside of the crib and believed the child had fallen out of it.
At that time Vides-Cabrera was living with the mother and child in an apartment in Worthington.
During a later interview with Vides-Cabrera, he reportedly stated that the day the child was taken to the hospital, he had entered the infant's bedroom while the mother was still sleeping and found the child on the floor next to the crib. He reportedly told officers the child was acting as if she was about to seize and that he picked her up and put her back in the crib before leaving the apartment without telling the infant's mother.
The infant's mother said that when she woke up she found her baby in the crib face down. When she tried to play with her child, the victim didn’t respond as normal, prompting the mother to call the hospital.
In early April, during a follow-up appointment with Child's Voice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, MRI scans of the child revealed compression fractures of the child's vertebrae. The Child's Voice medical staff found that the injuries were consistent with physical abuse.
On May 1, the infant's mother expressed concern about what actually happened to cause the skull fractures. Doctors had told her the injuries likely didn’t happen from a fall. The mother had since broken up with Vides-Cabrera and had moved to a different residence.
The following day, social services contacted officers to say that the infant’s mother had spoken with Vides-Cabrera, who was now reportedly claiming he had accidentally dropped the infant and the child’s head hit the corner of a pack-and-play before hitting the floor. According to the mother, Vides-Cabrera told her that he hadn’t said anything at the time because he was worried he could get in trouble due to being on probation.
During a May 3 meeting at Vides-Cabrera's residence, he told officers that he had picked up the infant outside the pack-and-play, but the child slipped and hit their head. Officers explained that it seemed unlikely the child's injuries had been obtained that way after what they had learned from the Child's Voice specialists.
Vides-Cabrera reportedly told the officers that he was frustrated and upset with the infant's mother over living expenses and that he had found the infant outside the pack-and-play. He reportedly picked the baby up, squeezing hard and then threw the victim “pretty hard.” The child's head hit the pack-and-play and a dehumidifier before falling to the floor. He then placed the baby back in the pack-and-play and left without saying anything, as he was reportedly running late and still felt angry with the mother.
Vides-Cabrera was arrested and transported to the Nobles County Jail, where bail was set at $100,000 with conditions and $200,000 without. A domestic no-contact order was issued as well.
If convicted, Vides-Cabrera faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a $30,000 fine or both for the first-degree assault charge. Both third-degree assault charges and the malicious punishment charge carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison a $10,000 fine or both.
Prosecuting attorney Braden Hoefert has filed for intent to seek aggravated sentencing due to the vulnerability of the victim and the “particular cruelty” with which the child victim was treated.
Note: This article was written based on information reported by local law enforcement agencies. The Globe reminds readers that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Southwest Crisis Center is available in our community to support and empower survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For questions about services or how you can help, contact the Southwest Crisis Center at 1-800-376-4311 or mnswcc.org .