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Utah police suspect mom's boyfriend in child abuse
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An American Fork man was charged Monday with causing brain injuries to his girlfriend's baby, including one that left the child unresponsive and possibly blind.

Robbie Michael MacDonald was arrested on Friday after police determined he was responsible for inflicting the injuries on a 10-month-old boy in January.

According to a probable cause affidavit from American Fork Police, the baby was discovered unconscious and not breathing on the afternoon of Jan. 18. The child was taken to Primary Children's Medical Center, where doctors found he had severe brain bleeding and swelling behind the eyes, symptoms commonly associated either with abusive head trauma or violent shaking.

The affidavit, which was dated Feb. 8, stated that the boy was still unresponsive and had to be fed through a tube. Charging documents filed Monday in 4th District Court further state that the child "will have developmental problems and have a long-term disability, including potential blindness."

Officers allege MacDonald was the only person with access to the child at the time of the injuries. MacDonald allegedly changed his story about what happened that day, initially saying in a written statement that he put the child down for a nap and found him unresponsive when he checked on him later.

However, in a later interview, MacDonald told investigators that he tripped while carrying the baby and dropped him on the floor, according to court documents. Doctors have said that the child's injuries were too severe for that explanation, according to the police statement.

MacDonald pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse in Layton in 2008 after slapping a 1-month-old in the face when the baby wouldn't stop crying. He received a one-year suspended prison sentence and a $1,000 fine, but served 180 days in jail after violating his probation in 2010.

In the most recent case, MacDonald was charged with second-degree felony child abuse and making a false written statement to police, a class A misdemeanor.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion

Police • American Fork man previously was convicted of child abuse.
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