LOS CHAVEZ — A Valencia County man is facing child abuse charges after his one-month-old son was admitted to a local hospitals with multiple injuries.
Anthony Griego, 21, has been charged with abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm and intimidation of a witness.
Griego was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 22, and booked into the Valencia County Detention Center on a no-bond hold.
He was released on Aug. 29 and ordered to report to pre-trial services by Los Lunas Magistrate Tina Garcia.
According to the criminal complaint, Valencia County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a home on Miller Road in Los Chavez on Friday, Aug. 2, in regards to an injured child having medical issues.
When deputies arrived they saw bruising on the infant, and the child was taken by ambulance to the pediatric ER unit at University of New Mexico Hospital. Griego and the child’s mother went with him to the hospital.
A UNMH social worker notified deputies there was bruising over the child’s entire body, including on his face and groin. A further examination found injuries that were described as “severe” by hospital personnel, including fractures to the skull and ribs, some of which were healing, as well as fractures to the arms.
Doctors at UNMH told VCSO detectives the couple said their one-year-old son had been “jumping” on the infant and caused the injuries, however physicians said the injuries were inconsistent with that statement.
The infant’s mother said she woke up about 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 2 and the baby was fine at that time. When she changed his diaper, he slumped over and went limp, she told deputies, which prompted the family to call 911.
She said the bruising on his face could have come from how the child was burped and the ones on his head could have been caused from the one-year-old biting him.
When interviewed, Griego gave the same explanations for the bruising, saying another child had jumped on and bitten the infant.
Statements from a Child Abuse Response Team Report were included in the criminal complaint, which detailed the injuries to the infant, noting that none of the injuries were consistent with trauma inflicted by a one-year-old child.
During the initial weeks of the investigation, statements given to law enforcement by Griego and the child’s mother were the same.
In the middle of the month the woman contacted a VCSO detective and spoke to him without Griego. During the interview she said Griego threatened to kill her and then himself if she said anything different than what he told her to about the child’s injuries.
She said she was sleeping when the baby began to cry and Griego went to check on him. When she asked him what happened the next morning, Griego wouldn’t talk about it.
The mother said she and Griego were the only ones with access to the baby on the night of the incident and the next morning.
Five other children — ages 17, 11, 7, 5 and 3 — were living in the home on Miller and were removed by the state Children Youth and Families Department.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.