Suspect in abuse of Sherwood 1-year-old arrested after community - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspect in abuse of Sherwood 1-year-old arrested after community outrage

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Image of Jacob after incident (Courtesy: Joshua Marbury) Image of Jacob after incident (Courtesy: Joshua Marbury)
Markell Deon Hilaire is facing charges of criminal mistreatment and assault. (Washington Co. booking photo) Markell Deon Hilaire is facing charges of criminal mistreatment and assault. (Washington Co. booking photo)
HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

A man accused of abusing a Sherwood toddler was arrested Friday after weeks of uproar on social media.

In a statement, the Washington County District Attorney said that Markell Deon Hilaire is facing charges of criminal mistreatment and assault for an incident parents Alicia Quinney and Joshua Marbury said happened earlier this year.

Quinney and Marbury said they left their 1-year-old son in the care of Hilaire, only to return home to find the child on the floor of his room crying with his face covered in bruises while Hilaire was sleeping on a couch in the home.

"We were very happy.  Very happy they were able to press charges," said Alicia Quinney, 

After months of seemingly not being able to pursue prosecution in the case, Marbury posted photos of his son online drawing attention to the case and the issues of loopholes in Oregon child abuse laws.

Quinney said that the prosecutor initially told her it was hard to move the case forward because of a quirk in Oregon law that requires proof that victims of child abuse were in substantial pain. And that was nearly impossible to prove since her 1-year-old son, Jacob, can’t tell anyone he was hurt.

"They were able to do more research and speak with the doctors and try to figure out if they had enough evidence that Jacob was in substantial pain, so they felt like they had enough to prove that," said Quinney.

Quinney took to Facebook Monday to thank everyone who showed support for their effort, saying it was now in the hands of the justice system.

Along with the release announcing Hilaire’s arrest, the prosecutor’s office issued a statement again asking for change in state child abuse law.

Although charges were filed in this particular case, the need to fix Oregon law to protect vulnerable victims remains. Under current Oregon law, animals are more protected from physical injury than many children.

Hilaire made his first appearance in court Monday at the Washington County Law Enforcement Center.  He was charged with Criminal Mistreatment and 3rd and 4th Degree Assault.

Hilaire's aunt, Dionee Hilaire, attended the hearing and afterward said Jacob's parents should share in the blame for what happened to their son, because they knew her nephew wasn't fit to babysit that night.

"These parents left Markell in charge of their two young children while he was drunk," said Hilaire. "You don’t leave children in the hands of drunk people.  You just don’t do it."

Alicia Quinney said Hilaire's statement was untrue.

A spokesman with the Sherwood Police Department said investigation into the incident is still open.

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