A 24-year-old Maryland father has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing and killing his 10-week-old baby daughter last year.
Robert Davidson appeared in court on Monday to answer the charges of sex abuse of a minor and first-degree child abuse resulting in death in connection to the June 2015 slaying of Aleah Thompson.
Davidson is scheduled to be sentenced in February. He faces up to 50 years in prison.
The baby girl’s mother, 22-year-old Lorena Thompson, pleaded guilty to neglect of a minor in July and was sentenced to five years of probation, reported the Washington Post.
Prosecutors said that Thompson had seen bruises on her daughter’s body and suspected that her boyfriend had been hurting Aleah but failed to protect the girl or alert the authorities.
Aleah’s parents were arrested in late August 2015, nearly two months after the baby’s death.
According to a press release from the Montgomery County Police Department, at 7.18pm on June 23, 2015, Robert Davidson called 911 to report that his baby daughter was unresponsive and not breathing.
Paramedics arrived at Davidson and Thompson’s home on East Argyle Street in Rockville, Maryland, and rushed the infant to a nearby hospital.
Aleah Thompson was alter airlifted to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC, where she succumbed to her injuries three days later.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner subsequently ruled Aleah’s death a homicide caused by multiple blunt force injuries.
An autopsy of the baby showed that the 10-week-old had suffered a broken collarbone and had 34 rib fractures in various stages of healing.
The injuries were the result of what has been described as at least three ‘severely traumatic events.’
Aleah had injuries to her head, eyes and spine. A forensic anthropologists has concluded that the abuse started during the first two weeks of the baby’s life, and the last of the incidents took place just before her death.
Battered: An autopsy of the baby showed that the 10-week-old had suffered a broken collarbone and had 34 rib fractures in various stages of healing
During his initial interview with police, Robert Davidson said that on the evening of June 23, he was looking after Aleah while his girlfriend was at work.
The 24-year-old said he was playing video games when he heard sounds of labored breathing coming from the bedroom. He went to check up on Aleah and found her unresponsive and limp.
He then tried to revive her by performing CPR before calling 911 for help.
During subsequent interviews, Davidson admitted to ‘committing acts that constitute sexual abuse of a child.’
He also revealed that he had dropped Aleah several times in the past and ‘aggressively’ shook the baby at least once on the day of the incident.
When Lorena Thompson was questioned by investigators, she admitted that she had seen bruises on Aleah on more than one occasion, and that those injuries occurred while the baby was in her boyfriend’s care, but at no time did the mother seek medical attention for the new-born.
She also did not take the baby to her two-month medical checkup.
Thompson, who is a chef by trade, also has a 5-year-old son from a previous relationship.
Davidson was originally charged with second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse resulting in death, first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury, neglect of a minor, sexual abuse of a minor, and second-degree sex offense.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the second-degree murder count against Davidson.
It has not been specified why Davidson was charged with sexual abuse. His attorney said cryptically in court on Monday his client had told police he was trying to remove ‘mucus and other substances’ from Aleah’s body, but that he did not do it for sexual gratification.
Source: Daily Mail