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Man charged with child abuse after allegedly blinding baby

By Faith Heaton Jolley | Posted - Feb 11th, 2013 @ 9:05pm

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AMERICAN FORK — A man has been charged with child abuse after police say he hit a 10-month-old baby, causing a brain injury and blindness.

Police were dispatched to an American Fork residence on Jan. 18 after receiving a call that a baby boy was unconscious and not breathing. The baby was transported to Primary Children's Medical Center, where doctors discovered severe bleeding on the brain and massive retinal hemorrhages.

Upon further investigation, medical specialists said that the injuries were commonly associated with abusive head trauma, also known as "shaken baby syndrome."

Police found the baby was being watched by his mother's boyfriend, Robbie MacDonald, during the reported time of injury. After being questioned by authorities, MacDonald gave a written statement to police saying he laid the baby down for a nap and later found him unresponsive.

However, during a subsequent interview, MacDonald changed his statement by saying that he accidentally tripped and dropped the baby on the floor. Doctors informed police officers that the trauma found on the baby was not consistent with a single drop.

After conducting a criminal background check, police found that MacDonald had previously been convicted of child abuse in 2007.

After denying having anything to do with the incident, MacDonald admitted that he had become frustrated with the baby and struck him. MacDonald has been booked in the Utah County Jail on child abuse charges.

The baby is currently unresponsive at Primary Children's Medical Center and is being fed through a tube.


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