Former in-home day care operator charged with injuring infant

Former in-home day care operator charged with injuring infant

URBANA — A Mahomet woman is free on bond after being criminally charged with injuring an infant at her in-home day care.

Ashley Jo Cox, 35, who listed an address in the 1900 block of Tin Cup Road, was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging her with two counts of aggravated battery to a child.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said one count, a Class X felony, alleged great bodily harm to a 3½-month-old girl, while a second count alleged mere bodily harm. That is a less-serious Class 3 felony.

Conviction on the more-serious offense carries penalties ranging from six to 30 years in prison.

The counts alleged harm that occurred on or about March 15.

Information collected by Illinois State Police investigators, Rietz said, indicates that the child suffered bleeding in the brain, allegedly when Cox was baby-sitting her.

The bleeding was discovered by doctors at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana and in Peoria on March 22. Rietz said the infant’s parents took her to Carle because she had been lethargic and vomiting.

Doctors diagnosed “bilateral subdural hematomas consistent with traumatic injury,” Rietz said. That essentially means bleeding on both sides of the brain under the skull.

The prosecutor declined to give details to suggest how police linked Cox to the child’s injuries or how the injuries may have occurred.

A family member who did not want to be named said the baby was hospitalized for nine days and is doing all right now, but they are not sure what the future may hold for her.

Cox had been caring for the child about two weeks when the injuries were allegedly inflicted. She no longer has an in-home day care service.

Cox told Judge John Kennedy she wanted time to hire her own lawyer. She is due back in court May 17.

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