Details into the death of a child who was alleged to have been abused were brought to light in Ford County District Court Thursday as part of an arraignment hearing for the suspected abuser.
Details into the death of a child who was alleged to have been abused were brought to light in Ford County District Court Thursday as part of an arraignment hearing for the suspected abuser. Juan Francisco Bartolome, 21, was charged with child abuse Feb. 13 for an incident court records show took place Jan. 30, just one day before the Dodge City Police Department began an investigation into the child's death. Bartolome appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing on the charge, but pursuant to plea negotiations and the state's filing of amended information, he waived his right to the hearing and was arraigned on a lesser charge. Bartolome pleaded no contest to endangering of a child. According to evidence presented at the hearing by Ford County Attorney Natalie Randall, a 20-month-old child was left in Bartolome's care January 20 at a home on Johnson Avenue in Dodge City. Randall said the child, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms, misbehaved and Bartolome in turn struck the child with a belt. The strike caused minor injury, Randall said. The following day, emergency services were dispatched to the residence on a report that the infant was not breathing. All reports indicate that Bartolome's action and the death of the child, were unrelated. Medical reports stated that the child most likely died from flu symptoms and a fever, Randall said. Bartolome was sentenced to 12 months of probation with a six month underlying sentence. Randall said Bartolome was helpful and cooperative throughout court proceedings and also helped establish a Child in Need of Care (CINC) case for the two living siblings of the deceased child. His plea negotiations, according to Randall, were in recognition of those facts. The name of the child was not released during the hearing or by the Dodge City Police Department. Judge Van Z. Hampton proceeded over the hearing and advised Bartolome that his conviction could result in deportation since he is in the United States illegally. Bartolome is from Guatemala.