Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Mariel Alexandra Grimm, age 33, of Eagan, has been charged* with one felony count of Assault in the First Degree (Great Bodily Harm) in connection with serious injuries inflicted upon a 13-month old boy she was caring for on September 22, 2016. The baby survived, but suffered severe and permanent brain damage as a result of these injuries.
A summary of the allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed today is set forth below:
At approximately 1:00 p.m. on September 22, 2016, Eagan police officers and medics responded to a call at a home where a daycare provider stated a 13-month old boy in her care was unresponsive. The baby had been going to Grimm’s daycare since he was nine weeks old. The baby was dropped off that morning around 7:15 a.m. and neither parent noticed anything out of the ordinary with their son that morning. Around 8:45 a.m., Grimm stated that after he awoke crying, she changed his diaper, fed him and placed him in his pack-and-play so she could begin home-schooling her four children. Sometime later Grimm stated the baby woke up crying. As Grimm changed his diaper, she stated he became stiff and unresponsive. Grimm stated at first she tapped the sides of his face to get him to wake up, and when that didn’t work, she brought him into the bathroom and began splashing cold water on his face. When the baby remained unconscious, Grimm contacted the baby’s mother who told her to hang up and call 911. Later, Grimm mentioned that before his second nap, the baby was playing on the floor with some toys and seemed fine. Grimm confirmed she was the only adult present in the residence the entire time that morning, and none of the other children present in the home, who were age seven years and younger, appeared to have unsupervised contact with the baby.
A child abuse pediatrician who examined the baby found no medical cause to account for his severe brain injury and that this injury was consistent with abusive head trauma, which could not have been caused by a short fall or injury inflicted by another young child in the daycare. This expert also indicated that the subdural hemorrhage suffered by this baby is the type of trauma associated with a violent acceleration-deceleration event, such as a high-speed motor vehicle collision or if a child is violently shaken or thrown. A neurosurgeon who performed the emergency surgery on the baby opined that the baby would have become unresponsive either immediately or shortly after this head trauma occurred on September 22, 2016.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint, which is located online at: Criminal Complaint Search.
Backstrom commented: "Abusive head trauma to infants and young children is a serious problem that often results in permanent brain injury or death. Our sympathy is extended to the baby’s parents and family."
Backstrom thanked the Eagan Police Department and the medical professionals who provided care to this baby.
Ms. Grimm has been charged by summons and her first court appearance has not yet been set. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.