HASTINGS, Minn. - A former Eagan home daycare provider has been found guilty of first-degree assault in a case where a 13-month-old boy suffered severe and permanent brain damage after being in her care.
A jury deliberated for about five hours before making their ruling in 33-year-old Mariel Alexandra Grimm's case late Thursday night.
According to criminal charges, Grimm was caring for the young boy on Sept. 22, 2016 when Eagan police and paramedics were dispatched to her home on a report that the 1-year-old was unresponsive.
Grimm told first responders the child woke up from a nap crying, and as she changed his diaper, he became stiff and unresponsive. She said she tapped on the sides of his face to get him to wake up and when that didn't work, she took him into the bathroom and splashed cold water on him, according to the charges.
Grimm then contacted the baby's mother, who told her to hang up and call 911.
The young boy survived but suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result of his injuries.
A child abuse pediatrician examined the child and found no medical cause for his severe brain injury but that his injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma, which could not have happened from a short fall or an injury caused by another child in the daycare.
The expert testified that this level of trauma would be the equivalent of a high-speed vehicle collision or if the child was violently shaken or thrown.
A neurosurgeon, who performed surgery on the boy, stated he would've become unresponsive either immediately or shortly after this level of head trauma.
He states in the criminal complaint that his finding was the child was the victim of physical abuse.
"We are pleased to have brought Mariel Grimm to justice for this serious crime. Our thoughts are extended to the baby’s parents and family for his ongoing care," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom stated in a news release.
Grimm will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Sept. 27.
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