A Mason father is facing felony charges after allegedly causing his baby girl serious physical harm.
Jason Bittner, 33, was indicted Monday by a Warren County grand jury for felonious assault and child endangering.
Bittner’s wife took their 3-month-old daughter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center last month with traumatic brain injuries and 29 rib fractures in various stages of healing, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
Doctors were told the injuries were the result of an accident, but that story is not consistent with the infant’s injuries, Fornshell said.
“The defendant knew the child had been injured on Feb. 26, but sought no medical treatment despite knowing about the head injury,” Fornshell said.
Bittner was resentful the infant, his second child, was a girl and not a boy, according to the prosecutor. But he also was intolerant of a fussy infant, Fornshell told this news outlet.
“There was underlying resentment over (the sex of the child), but his temper over the fussing may have had more to do with it,” Fornshell said.
Bittner told Mason police detectives the infant fell off a couch while in a “baby bouncer type seat” without a harness, according to a search warrant to seize Bittner’s cellphone. The incident occurred while he was alone in the house with his children after his wife went to work.
“Jason Bittner left the infant on the couch unattended with a 2-year-old sibling and went to the lower level basement of the house,” police said Bittner told them. He was away from the children for 20 to 30 minutes before returning upstairs.
“Jason Bittner advised that when he arrived upstairs he observed his infant daughter face down on the wood laminate floor with the baby bouncer seat resting over her back. Jason Bittner describes his daughter as having convulsions while lying on the floor,” detectives stated in the court documents.
Bittner said he observed a dark spot under the child’s eyes when he picked her up, but did not seek medical treatment, according to the court documents.
“Jason Bittner sent a text message to his wife that the infant had scratched herself with her fingernails causing the bruising to the eye and did not tell his wife of the infant’s fall,” according to court documents.
It was not until 48 hours later after the child was running a fever that the mother took the baby to the hospital.
“The infant’s mother had no knowledge of the fall and had suggested the baby be taken to the doctor, but was convinced by Jason Bittner that the symptoms were from cold of flu and to try treatments at home,” according to court documents.
Bittner’s attorney said there are two sides to every story and his client is presumed innocent.
“The facts will come out in court at the appropriate time,” defense attorney Steven Adams said after Bittner’s arraignment Wednesday in court, where he entered not guilty pleas to all three charges. “I just ask everyone to pray for this family. It is a very stressful ordeal, but keep an open mind because medical professionals, they can get it wrong sometimes.”
Bittner, a chiropractor, was arrested Friday at his office in West Chester Twp., according to Warren County Jail booking records.
He spent the weekend in the county jail. During his arraignment Wednesday, Warren County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe set bond at $25,000 with a 10 percent rule.
Adams told this news outlet after the arraignment that the baby is recovering well.
“I have seen pictures of her. She is doing quite well. She is smiling,” Adams said. “The community is behind Jason and his family and the child and the whole family. They are praying for this child and the whole family.”
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