Saturday, July 24, 2004

5-year-old won't be prosecuted

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

HAMILTON - Prosecutors said Friday that no charges will be filed in the death of a 6-week-old girl authorities say was dropped on her head by a 5-year-old boy.

It is not practical to prosecute the 5-year-old, who has admitted physically mistreating the infant, and no charges against anyone else are planned, Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said Friday.

However, authorities have ordered the 5-year-old to be evaluated. Juvenile court officials can then order counseling, treatment, or any other similar action it deems appropriate to help the 5-year-old.

"We also want to make sure this 5-year-old gets help," Piper said.

A juvenile-court judge has ordered that there be no unsupervised contact between the child and any child younger or smaller than him unless an adult is present.

Police were called to the 700 block of Walnut Drive just before midnight Tuesday for an infant dropped on her head. An ambulance took Cardasia Goens to Fort Hamilton Hospital. A helicopter transferred her to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

The mother of the infant was watching the 5-year-old while his mother ran an errand, Piper said. The boy was asked to check on the baby, and the abuse took place.

The incident involved more than mere dropping of the infant, because the baby had marks and broken bones, Piper said.

Though Ohio has no law against prosecuting a child so young, it is typically not practical to try a person under the age of 7, Piper said.



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