Monday, May 27, 2024

Ottawa woman charged with battery to child; prosecutors await more info to possibly upgrade charges

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An Ottawa woman could face up to five years in prison if convicted of injuring a baby that was in her care, but not her ow, though prosecutors are waiting for more medical information before finalizing charges.

Rachyl M. Newell, 25, appeared Friday in La Salle County Circuit Court and was presented with two counts of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony carrying a possible prison sentence of two to five years. She was released from La Salle County Jail with conditions, including no contact with the infant identified only by its initials.

Details still are emerging, but Ottawa police issued a news release Friday saying officers were alerted to the infant’s injuries by staff at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa, where the child “arrived at the emergency department with several injuries.”

According to court records, Newell squeezed the baby and shook the infant’s crib, resulting in “significant bruising and facial swelling,” according to court records. The child was taken to a hospital in Peoria for “a comprehensive medical evaluation.”

La Salle County State’s Attorney Joe Navarro termed the child’s injuries “significant” and said additional and/or elevated charges are under review pending the receipt of medical information.

Newell will next appear May 24 for arraignment.

The incident remains under investigation, police said. Ottawa police were assisted by staff at OSF St Elizabeth’s, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Oglesby Police Department and the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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