Parents Arrested for Child Abuse as 2-Month-Old Baby Suffered 13 Rib Fractures

Two parents were charged with criminal abuse of a child and assault after their two-month-old son was having a seizure, and 911 had to be called.

Doctors discovered a number of injuries on the child that they say proves he was abused over a period of time. The parents claim that the child was injured after being accidentally dropped. This what led to the two young parents being arrested.

A Call to 911 Leads to an Investigation

On March 15, 27-year-old Robert Rich Jr. and 20-year-old Ashlee Hensley called 911. Their two-month-old son was having a seizure. The child was first brought to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington, Kentucky, but was then transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. It was in Cincinnati that doctors learned the extent of the child’s injuries.

Ashlee Hensley

Photo: Kenton County Detention Center

The baby had multiple injuries, including an orbital fracture in the left eye, severe retinal hemorrhaging, 13 rib fractures, and subdural hematoma. The damage from the hematoma is particularly concerning as in injury like that can lead to developmental delays.

Robert Rich

Photo: Kenton County Detention Center

Due to the injuries, Covington police began their investigation into what actually happened to the child.

Was It an Accident, Or Was It Abuse?

According to Rich and Hensley, the damage was the result of an accident. Hensley went to pass the two-month-old child to her oldest son and unfortunately, the baby was dropped a few inches off the ground, and smacked his head. Frank Hensley, the child’s grandfather explained to Fox19:

“Accidents happen. And my daughter even admitted she was passing her son to her oldest son sitting on the floor and he slipped under his hands and bobbed his head on the floor.”

Or, at least that was the first excuse. As police investigated, a number of stories of what occurred to the child began to surface. The story of the injuries occurring after the baby was dropped then became a car accident.

But cracks in the story have seemingly appeared. Investigators spoke to the child’s great-grandmother, who acted as an occasional babysitter. She told them that the child had a knot above his left eye for at least two days before 911 was called.

Doctors and police contend that the injuries were due to abuse over a period of time. The 13 fractured ribs, for example, are in different stages of healing. The latest fracture is estimated to have occurred not even 10 days before the child went to the hospital.

Rich and Hensley were both charged with criminal abuse of a child and assault, and currently sit in Kenton County jail awaiting their day in court.


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