On Sunday, Chicago police arrested 23-year-old Michelle Feliciano for reportedly beating her 11-month-old son in a “bout of frustration.” The infant suffered multiple injuries, including skull fractures and puncture wounds caused by a toothpick, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Feliciano was charged with three counts of felony aggravated battery to a child and two counts of misdemeanor endangering the health of a child. Her baby is currently in stable condition at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
On April 15, the infant was rushed to Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago after a caretaker discovered his injuries. The injuries included multiple skull fractures, bleeding of the brain, a broken clavicle, burns on his hand, liver injury, and toothpick puncture wounds on his foot.
Police arrested Feliciano on suspicion of child abuse on April 17. Police say that Feliciano admitted during interviews that she had pulled the boy out of his crib in a “bout of frustration” with such force that it fractured his clavicle. She also said that during another bout she repeatedly punctured the boy’s foot with a toothpick.
Under Illinois’ criminal code, aggravated battery of a child is defined as committing a battery that “causes bodily harm or disability or disfigurement to any child under the age of 13 years.” It’s a Class 3 felony and carries a prison sentence of 2 to 5.
The Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act also has a reporting provision, requiring that homemakers, physicians, social workers and many others report suspicions of child abuse if they have “reasonable cause to believe a child may be abused or neglected.”
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a time to learn more about child mistreatment and how to prevent it. This month, the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect and many other organizations are providing activities, information, and updated statistics about child abuse and neglect.
Michelle Feliciano’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Her bail has been set at $900,000. The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services have placed Feliciano’s other children in the care of a relative.