CLEARFIELD – An Osceola Mills woman entered an open plea of guilt instead of taking her child abuse case of her three-week-old “Baby Lily” to trial on Monday morning in Clearfield County Court.
Stephanie Diane McGuire, 23, was originally charged by Clearfield-based state police with aggravated assault, F1; aggravated assault, F2; endangering the welfare of children, F3; conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children, F3; use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M; simple assault, M1; and recklessly endangering another person, M2.
McGuire pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children; conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children; simple assault; recklessly endangering another person; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
McGuire’s boyfriend, Aaron John Mills, 33, also of Osceola Mills, is still facing more serious charges of aggravated assault, F1, four counts; aggravated assault, F2, four counties; aggravated indecent assault, F2, two counts; endangering the welfare of children, F3; conspiracy/endangering the welfare of children, F3; simple assault, M1, four counts; recklessly endangering another person, M2; and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, M.
As part of her plea agreement, McGuire has agreed to cooperate with the commonwealth and testify against Mills at his trial. Mills’ case is scheduled for trial Dec. 11-14, according to District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr.
McGuire has also agreed that she cannot withdraw her plea at a later date and to waive her sentencing until after she’s fulfilled her obligation to the commonwealth.
Since McGuire did an open plea, her jail sentence will be “completely up to the judge,” Shaw said. He noted when she is ultimately released from her period of incarceration the commonwealth is asking that she has no less than 10 years of supervision on probation or parole.
Shaw went on to say that: “So when she’s released and is around children, she will be supervised for a considerable period of her life.”
While the commonwealth wasn’t alleging McGuire caused harm to her daughter, she was complacent and didn’t seek the proper care for her. “We’re talking about a three-week-old baby here,” he said.
“She should be pristine and she wasn’t … It was a very unfortunate case, but it’s my understanding that she’s made a recovery and is doing well in her foster placement.”
According to the affidavits of probable cause in the cases, on March 1, McGuire took her infant daughter to a doctor’s appointment to be examined for a diaper rash at Geisinger Medical Center, Philipsburg.
She was examined and diagnosed with bruising to her forehead, the tip of her nose and the left side of her abdomen. She had a severe diaper rash with a prolapsing rectum. The infant was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center by ambulance.
The same day, she was transported to and admitted for treatment at the Geisinger Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pa.
She was diagnosed with multiple areas of abrasions and excoriation over the face and flank of the right great toe; several bruises over the head, abdomen, right arm and legs bilaterally; excoriated and denuded perianal region with deep perianal furrows and anal prolapse; a left, fourth anterior rib facture; and bilateral, medial and lateral metaphyseal corner factures of the femurs.
In a phone interview with state police March 3, Paul J. Bellino, M.D., Geisinger Medical Center, stated that, “This was the worst case of child abuse in an infant of this age that he has ever seen.”
In particular, the injury to the infant’s mouth and nose would have created an “extreme” amount of blood loss and pain, Bellino told state police.
In a supplemental report, Bellino indicated the infant had suffered “substantial pain and disfigurement” as a result of the diaper rash and lacerations to her anal area.
Bellino also said that the infant’s fractured femurs and broken rib would have been “immediately symptomatic.”
According to state police interviews with Mills and McGuire, the infant was in their sole care at their residence on Edwards Street in Osceola Mills. Both stated that she wasn’t in the care of anyone else between Feb. 26 and March 1 when these injuries occurred to her.
Mills allegedly admitted to pulling the infant girl up off the changing table by her ankles forcefully and causing injuries to her legs while caring for her Feb. 26.
Mills also allegedly admitted to inserting a finger into the infant’s rear on two, separate occasions.
According to the affidavits, both Mills and McGuire failed to seek immediate medical treatment for the infant for her severe diaper rash and injuries.
A search warrant was obtained for Mills’ and McGuire’s apartment. During the search, state police determined the apartment was very small, and any crying would have been heard throughout the rooms.
The search also uncovered drug paraphernalia, namely a pipe and grinder, and they were seized as evidence.
Additionally a search of a vehicle uncovered a garbage bag with three blankets, a pair of men’s boxer shorts, men’s long sleeve shirts, an infant outfit and a pink infant hat with blood stains on them, according to the affidavits.