LISBON - A Rogers man accused of using excessive force to discipline an infant was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
According to court documents, starting in February 2012 and continuing until July 2012, Nico A. Baker, 21, Dyke Road, Rogers, is accused of striking a baby less than a year old in the face and head several times. Additionally, it was noted he threw the baby onto a couch by the arm.
Despite pleading guilty to the endangering children charge, Baker said he did not agree with the dates of the alleged bruising of the baby. He said although he started dating the baby's mother during that time, it was not until his girlfriend took a job and he was left in charge of the baby in June and beginning of July that there was problems. The baby turned 7 months old near the end of June.
Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam questioned whether he denied hitting and flicking the child. He also asked if Baker "wrapped the child up in a blanket and put her onto the bed on her face basically because she was crying and annoying you."
Baker agreed he swaddled the child and attempted to get her to quit crying.
Prior to sentencing, the girlfriend, who has lost custody of the baby but still has visitation, asked Washam not to send Baker away. She said he helps her with the things she needs for her daughter and supports her in her efforts to get custody of the baby back. The two are also expecting a child of their own.
Baker has reportedly taken parenting classes since he was charged and claimed he has learned a lot about how to care for infants and how to hand them off or place them in a safe place and step three steps back when they are crying and the caregiver needs a break.
He also said he believes more anger management counseling could be helpful, but noted he does not have the gas or transportation in order to get there. Instead, he said making sure his girlfriend has the means to travel to visit her daughter every Thursday is a priority.
Besides 30 days in jail, Washam placed him on four years probation and ordered continued counseling.