4-year-old Calgary girl suffers ‘catastrophic brain injury,’ stepfather charged with assault
Police have charged a Calgary man in connection with horrific injuries his then-four-year-old stepdaughter suffered in the spring of last year.
The girl — who is now five — was taken to hospital by her mother on Sunday, March 11, 2018, with life-threatening injuries. Children’s Services contacted police, who began investigating.
In a Wednesday morning news conference, Staff Sgt. John Guigon of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Child Abuse Unit said the girl received a “catastrophic brain injury” and was unconscious when she arrived at the hospital.
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Police say the child’s stepfather was the only adult at home when the girl was injured, and allege that his explanation of how she received the injuries “does not align with medical evidence.”
“The basic story is an accidental fall in a washroom,” Guigon said. “There are multiple different medical experts who offered their opinion in analysis of our evidence.”
After a nearly year-long investigation, the child’s stepfather was charged with one count of aggravated assault, which carries a potential sentence of 14 years if convicted.
“Before the incident, [the victim] was a normal, healthy, happy child who was swimming, walking, running, talking… and now she’s confined to a wheelchair [and] does not have full use of her left side of her body,” Guigon said.
“We honestly thought we were going to be dealing with a homicide. We did not expect her to survive.”
“She survived only because of the really dedicated people at the [Alberta] Children’s Hospital,” Guigon added.
WATCH: ‘We honestly thought we would be dealing with a homicide’: Calgary police
He added the young girl, who now has difficulty with her speech, is out of hospital and “in a safe place.”
Police aren’t naming the accused to protect the identity of the victim. Police said the accused and the victim’s mother had been together for “several years” and have another child together. The victim’s mother has co-operated with the investigation.
The accused, who was not known to police, has been released from police custody with conditions including not having contact with the victim. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 15.
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