SHERWOOD, Ore. – After an outcry on social media, an arrest has been made in the case of an injured baby.
Alicia Quinney and Joshua Marbury returned from a night out in March to find their 1-year-old screaming. 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 said.
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 collarbone, marks inside and around his ear, and bruises on his arm and his back. A detective told the parents the dots would be a sign of smothering.
Marbury said the babysitter later admitted hitting Jacob. The dad said he was told by law enforcement investigators needed to build a case before making an arrest. Two months passed and police told them the babysitter would not face charges because of a 2012 Oregon court ruling making it tough to prosecute abuse cases with victims who can’t talk.
Marbury took to Facebook to plead for his son. That post has been shared more than 400,000 times.
TODAY.com reports the babysitter, Markell Deon Hilaire, has been arrested. The arrest came on Friday, June 3.
Hilaire is charged with criminal mistreatment in the first degree, and assault in both the third and fourth degrees.
Still, more change is needed, the Washington County District Attorney’s office said in a press release.
“Although charges were filed in this particular case, the need to fix Oregon law to protect vulnerable victims remains. Under current Oregon law, animals are more protected from physical injury than many children,” that press release reads.