EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 10, 2013

Mom accuses boyfriend of assaulting son

State investigating child abuse complaint

By Mark E. Vogler

---- — LAWRENCE — A Lawrence mother has filed a child abuse complaint against her live-in boyfriend, accusing him of throwing her 3-year-old son into a shower of cold running water as “discipline” when he can’t make it to the bathroom on time and wets himself.

The woman also told police that Juan Medina bites the boy on the cheeks, pulls his hair, pushes him and slaps him.

“Juan says that’s discipline, it’s how he was raised and I told him several times to stop it,” the 20-year-old woman told Officer Timothy B. Dube when he asked her about the alleged abuse.

Medina, 25, was charged with two counts of assault and battery on a household member and two counts of assault and battery on a child with injury. He was being held overnight at the Lawrence Police Station on $10,000 bail and was due to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court tomorrow.

Meanwhile, police have filed a child endangerment complaint with the state Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Medina is not the father of the boy who is the subject of the abuse complaint. He’s had a relationship with the woman for two and a half years and they’ve had a 1-year-old son together. But there’s been no evidence of abuse with that child, the woman told police.

Two recent incidents prompted the woman to file a police complaint against Medina. At 1 a.m. Thursday, the boy woke up and wanted a drink. Medina allegedly threw the boy into the refrigerator while his mother was pouring his drink, according to the police report.

“Juan gets really mad when (the boy) gets up and it’s been frequent lately,” the woman told Officer Dube.

On Friday afternoon, the mother went to see why her son was crying. She discovered a bite mark on his left cheek. The boy told his mother that Medina had bitten him and pulled his hair.

“Every time Juan plays with him, he does something,” causing the boy to feel pain and cry, the woman told Officer Dube.

The woman told police that she had previously received a telephone call from a school teacher who reported seeing a red hand print with three finger marks on the boy’s face.

When she later questioned Medina about the mark, he told her that the boy was supposed to watch his baby brother while he laid on the bed. But the child rolled off the bed. Medina got so angry, he slapped the boy in the face.

Medina told police that he bit the child on the lip, but not in the face as his girlfriend alleged.

The woman told Officer Dube that she feared for her safety after filing the abuse complaint.

“He said to me in the past if I did something or got police he would lose it and do something to me and yes, I am scared if he gets out right now,” she told the officer.

Officer Dube said he contacted a judge to have an emergency restraining order issued for the woman.

Medina received the restraining order while he was being booked in at the police station. He was ordered to have no contact with his girlfriend or her two children.