(SALEM) - An accused child abuser text that he was hurting his girlfriend's toddler son.
"I have hurt him today to [sic]," reads one text message, sent the evening of Oct. 9.
A second text message sent by 30-year-old Earl "Kilijah" Mann to his ex-wife stated: "I know I smacked him in the head and it knocked him out."
The Leader Democrat reports that not only is Mann being charged with the crime, but his ex-wife, 27-year-old Nicole Mann, of Salem, is being charged with failure to report child abuse.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin says Indiana law requires anyone who sees evidence of suspected child abuse has to report it, so the allegation can be investigated. Houchin says there is no exception to that law.
Also charged in the case is the child's mother, 27-year-old Rose McNeely, whom authorities say failed to seek medical care for her injured child.
Salem police began an investigation after the boy's father was told by a friend that his son had numerous bruises and his eyes were swollen shut.
After police interviewed the father and the father's friend, officers made a welfare check on the toddler who was living on Reid Avenue.
McNeely told police that her son had not been beaten and the bite mark found on the boy was done by another child. She says the bruises were suffered during a tickling incident with Mann. She then told police that the child's swollen eyes were the result of him rubbing pepper in his eyes.
Carol Mann, who lives with her ex-husband and helps with the child's care, told police that she had left the home and when she returned the toddler's eyes were swollen shut. The swelling was so bad that she had to lead the boy around because he could not see. She told police she washed the child's eyes out with Johnson & Johnson Baby Bath, but did not take the child to the hospital for treatment.
But according to a physician at Kosair Children's Hospital, who examined the child, that amounts to medical neglect.
The witness who alerted the boy's father about the abuse told police he told McNeely to take the child to the hospital, but she refused saying she did not want Child Protective Services to get involved.
CPS was notified by police and the toddler was taken to St. Vincent Salem Hospital and then transferred to Kosair. Where doctors found extensive bruising, abrasions, contusions and scratched over much of the boy's body.
When McNeely was questioned about the other bruises she told doctors she didn't know where they had come from.
McNeely was charged with neglect of a dependant, a Class B felony. Her bond is set at $400 cash only.
Earl "Kilijah" Mann is charged with neglect of a dependant, as well as battery, also a Class B felony. He remains incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center on an $800 full cash only bond.
Mann had actually been ordered to report to the detention center Oct. 28 to begin serving a 90-day sentence. That sentence was the result of his pleading guilty to two OWI charges.
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