Kent man charged with assaulting his twin babies
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
November 8, 2012 · 1:55 PM
King County prosecutors charged a 24-year-old Kent man Tuesday with two counts of second-degree assault of a child for allegedly inflicting substantial bodily harm upon his 7-week-old twins.
Jason Mark Dodd is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Nov. 19 in King County Superior Court at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Dodd remains in custody at the county jail in Seattle with bail set at $250,000.
"The defendant has little history with law enforcement prior to confessing to abusing his twin infant babies," wrote senior deputy prosecutor Cecelia Gregson in a bail request to the judge. "However, in light of the ongoing pattern of abuse inflicted upon these children as evidenced by their respective injuries, the state has great concern about the threat the defendant poses to the victim children should he be released from custody."
Kent Police arrested Dodd for investigation of second-degree assault of a child on Nov. 3 after he admitted to abuse of the twins on multiple occasions between early September and Nov. 3, according to charging papers.
The abuse investigation began after the mother of the twins called 911 on Nov. 1 because one of the babies was spitting up blood and gagging. Paramedics transported the baby to Seattle Children's Hospital where doctors determined the baby had a small abrasion and was bleeding from his posterior pharynx (top of the throat). The child needed ongoing care, but with no room available at Seattle Children's, paramedics transported the baby to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma.
A doctor from the Mary Bridge Hospital's child abuse intervention department examined the child and met with the parents. Dodd told the doctor the mother was busy with one child when the other child began to cry.
Dodd said he picked up the baby, which would not take a pacifier, so he put his finger in the child's mouth to try to soothe him and the baby started to choke and spit up blood. That's when the mother called 911.
The doctor determined that it was "probable inflicted trauma," according to charging papers.
That led hospital officials to contact Child Protective Services and Kent Police. Police interviewed the doctor who said it would take excessive force to cause the cut in the mouth and that Dodd must have put at least three-fourths of his finger into the mouth.
The doctor told the officer that the baby was in serious condition and could have died because he bled so much, causing the aspiration in his lungs.
When a Kent detective visited the hospital, the baby had been moved to a regular pediatrics floor from the intensive care unit. The detective interviewed the mother who told him she initiated first-aid measures and called 911 when she saw blood on the baby after taking him from Dodd the night of the incident.
Hospital officials also told detectives that a bone survey on the other twin showed minimally displaced acute fractures of two ribs. A doctor determined the fractures appeared to be a result of intentional trauma.
During an interview with a detective, Dodd admitted he had abused the twins on multiple occasions. Dodd estimated he applied five to six pounds of pressure when he stuck his finger in the child's mouth. He also admitted to shaking and squeezing both twins on multiple occasions. He said he heard a pop one time when he squeezed one of the twins.
Doctors also plan further evaluation of the twins which could discover additional injuries.
Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.