A South Bethlehem woman is accused of deliberately breaking the right thighbone and left collarbone of her 2-week-old daughter, according to court papers.
The 29-year-old woman, who lives on Atlantic Avenue, was arrested by Bethlehem police on Tuesday, more than three months after the alleged infant abuse. Patch is withholding the mother’s name to protect the identity of her children.
According to the arrest affidavit, a local pediatrician concluded that the broken leg and “most likely” the broken clavicle were caused by child abuse.
The baby was brought—with an apparent leg injury—to St. Luke’s University Hospital on May 20, two weeks after she was born, police said.
At the time, the mother explained that the baby was placed on a sofa in her home and was pulled off of the sofa by her other daughter—a 20-month-old girl, the affidavit says.
In July, police interviewed the woman, who told police she was on the sofa with the newborn feeding her, the affidavit says. No other adults were in the house.
She told police she stopped, placed the infant on the sofa, turned to get something and, when she turned around, she saw her older daughter pull the infant by her waist, causing her to fall to the floor and break her leg.
However, Dr. Jack Van Brakle, a pediatrician for the Lehigh Valley Health Network, said the injuries to the baby are not consistent with that explanation, the affidavit says. He told police that “a significant amount of force” was required to break the baby’s femur.
The woman was charged with felony aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of children and simple assault. She was arraigned before District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bail.