SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — When Alicia Quinney and Joshua Marbury came home from a night out, they found their 1-year-old screaming and their babysitter asleep.
They also found a bruise in the shape of a hand mark on little Jacob’s face.
“When we came in her, the guy (babysitter) was asleep (on the couch),” Marbury said.
Jacob was in on their bed, crying. Quinney picked him up and soothed him, she said.
“The first thing I saw was his black eye and at first I thought, ‘What happened to his eye?’ And then he turned over and I saw the whole side of his face was black-and-blue,” she told KOIN 6 News.
The babysitter, a family friend, at first said he didn’t know what happened, but then said he dropped Jacob on cement outside their door.
But that story didn’t make sense to Marbury and Quinney because Jacob didn’t have any scrapes.
But there were dots underneath his collar bone, marks inside and around his ear, bruises on his arm and his back. A detective told them the dots would be a sign of smothering.
Marbury said the babysitter later admitted hitting Jacob, but said police needed to build a case before making any arrest. Two months passed and police told them the babysitter will not face charges because of a 2012 Oregon court ruling making it tougher to prosecute abuse cases with victims who can’t talk.
Marbury said they can’t get out of their heads what could have happened. “We picture it ourselves and it makes our stomachs turn and just feel angered about it.”
“This guy,” Quinney said, “is living his life and he’s lived his life freely for 3 months and we’ve had to sit here and be as patient as we could be, being traumatized, are going to be traumatized, the rest of our life — while this person can do whatever he wants to do.”
Their 3-year-old daughter saw what happened to Jacob and she is now in counseling, they said.
On May 20, Marbury took to his Facebook page and posted a lengthy entry. In part, it read:
“…DO YOUR PART, you have a verbal confession and evidence showing a hand print!!!! A dead body cant tell you who killed them. Yet a baby isnt held to the same standard because he cant talk???? Well neither can a dead body. …”
“It’s ridiculous, absurd,” Quinney said.
To them, the pictures say it all.
Once Marbury put it on social media, “it started to get the word out to change this for my son and, you know, put this person in jail.”
But now that it’s gotten so much attention, Marbury and Quinney feel the issue is bigger.
The post has attracted worldwide attention from people, lawmakers and law enforcement.
Captain Mark Daniel with the Sherwood Police Department told KOIN 6 News they have referred the case to the District Attorney’s office. Daniel said the parents are not being investigated and believe it is a legitimate case.
he babysitter has been interviewed and is considered a person of interest, but his name has not been released.
Daniel said they are hopeful this case can move forward.
Little Jacob’s family is not just sitting idly by. They began a petition on Change.org to get “Justice for child abuse victims who are unable to voice their pain in the eyes of the law.” At this writing more than 12,000 people have signed this petition.
They’ve also started a GoFundMe page to help defray costs associated with any legal fees they may encounter as they try to change the law.
And the hashtag #JusticeforJacob has attracted global notice along with the story.
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