Doctors told Salem police that the injuries were consistent with the baby being picked up by his hair, and concluded “this is out-and-out child abuse,” Grimes told the judge.
The child has since recovered physically, and both he and an older half-sibling, now 7, were returned to Lidia Rodriguez’s custody by the Department of Children and Families, Grimes told the judge.
There are, however, some concerns about whether the child has sustained emotional trauma, said the prosecutor, describing recent reports of the child “acting out.”
A public defender representing Lidia Rodriguez Friday told the judge that DCF has been attempting to close their case.
About a week after her first interview, Lidia Rodriguez called police and identified Jose Rodriguez as her boyfriend, admitting that she had made up the story about a man named “Tony.” She said Jose Rodriguez, who was charged in July 2011 with biting the 5-year-old son of a former girlfriend, told her not to tell police he had been in her apartment because he would be blamed.
David Alford, the student public defender representing the mother yesterday, said Lidia was “physically intimidated” by her boyfriend.
“Her children and her mother need her,” said Alford, who stressed his client’s ties to the city, where she graduated from Salem High School.
According to court papers, the father of the injured child, another Salem man, has not been involved in his life.
Grimes told the judge that the charges were delayed while prosecutors reviewed whether to seek a criminal complaint against Lidia Rodriguez.
A status hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 7.