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Utah couple charged with inflicting broken ribs, brain bleed to their baby

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Jul. 18, 2019 at 5:11 p.m. | Posted - Jul. 18, 2019 at 4:35 p.m.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A West Valley couple was charged Thursday with abusing their infant child and then trying to cover it up.

Taisia Matangi, 23, is charged in 3rd District Court with four counts of child abuse/intentionally inflicting serious injury, a second-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

Fuifui Gasologa Jr., 25, is charged with one count of each of the same charges.

The couple's child — born premature at 26 weeks — was 5 months old when the abuse occurred sometime between June 26 and July 10, according to the charging documents.

During a medical examination, it was determined that the child "had sustained several rib fractures, a left tibia fracture, bruising on both knees, significant bruising on the chest," as well as bruising on the arm, shoulder and ear, the charges state, in addition to "bleeding on the brain."

The doctor determined the injuries to the ribs were seven to 10 days old.

The doctor also said the child "is medically the equivalent of a 2-month-old baby and it was very likely that the baby would be permanently affected from the injuries," according to the charges.

Investigators looked at the couple's internet search history on their cellphones and found "shaken baby syndrome," according to court documents. Detectives also discovered text messages between the two indicating they knew the infant needed medical attention but put off seeing a doctor "for fear that the bruises would be discovered," the charges state.

When interviewed by detectives, the couple admitted they had searched "shaken baby syndrome" because "they had been too reckless," according to the charging documents.

"Matangi admitted that she gets frustrated and irritated with (the child's) crying and admitting hitting and being 'aggressive' with the child over the past couple of weeks," the charges state.

Pat Reavy

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