Local News

Man charged with neglect of infant

— Earlier this year, authorities arrested a man and his girlfriend after Florida Hospital reported they brought a 4-year-old boy with injuries to the medical facility.

Within the last three days, both adults were arrested again after a follow-up investigation showed that an infant in the household was malnourished and had broken bones, officials said.

Benjamin Joshua Herrera, 28, and Kimberly Dawn Hernandez, 23, both of Sebring, were charged with two counts each of child neglect and child abuse in regard to the infant.

Assistant State Attorney Christine Pletcher said the pair was charged after the investigation showed the infant was malnourished and had not received medical treatment for broken bones. They were both charged with one count of child neglect and one count of child abuse in connection with the malnourishment and one of each of those charges for alleged failure to seek medical treatment for the infant’s broken bones, she said.

Although authorities discovered the alleged neglect of the infant late last year, it took several months before the investigation was completed, Pletcher said.

Information was not readily available about what happened to the infant during the time the investigation continued.

After the first arrest, Herrera was charged with aggravated child abuse and child neglect with great bodily harm and Hernandez was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm.

The 4-year-old boy arrived at the hospital with stomach injuries, reports said. Herrera told authorities the injuries occurred after he tackled the boy during a game of football.

But evidence contradicted that explanation, authorities said. Instead, it was consistent with the boy being punched or kicked in the abdomen, report said.


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