Kent man charged with abusing infant twins

KENT, Wash. -- A Kent man accused of abusing his infant twins was charged Wednesday with two counts of assault of a child.

Prosecutors say 24-year-old Jason M. Dodd shook and squeezed both his young kids, who are less than 2-months old. He is also accused of injuring one of the babies by sticking his finger down the child's throat.

Officers first became aware of Dodd when he and the children's mother called 911 on November 1 to say one of their 7-week-old children was spitting up blood and gagging. Dodd first told doctors the baby was crying but wouldn't take a pacifier, so he tried to soothe the infant by putting a finger in his mouth.

Doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital noticed the child had a small abrasion and was bleeding from his posterior pharynx, which led to aspiration.

The boy was then transferred to Tacoma's Mary Bridge Hospital, where doctors said the injury was "probable inflicted trauma." Hospital officials contacted the police and told them it would take "excessive force" to cause the infant's injury, according to charging documents. Doctors said Dodd would have had to put at least three quarters of his finger into the boy's mouth to cause that type of abrasion.

Doctors further evaluated both twins and found the second child had acute rib fractures that "appeared to be the result of intentional trauma."

During a November 2 interview with Kent detectives, Dodd admitted to abusing both kids on multiple occassions, according to the court papers. He said the most recent incident happened after one of the twins began to cry. He said he tried to soothe the baby back to sleep by putting his finger in the boy's mouth, but it didn't work. He then put his finger further into the baby's mouth, down to the bottom of his knuckle, for roughly 5-6 seconds.

He told detectives he could feel the back of the child's throat, and when he pulled his finger out it was bloody. Prosecutors say he also admitted to shaking and squeezing both kids. He said he squeezed one of the kids so hard he "heard a pop."

He told detectives he lied about the throat injury because he didn't want to lose his family.

Dodd was arrested and charged with two counts of second degree assault of a child. His bail was set at $250,000.