Father Sentenced for Leaving Bite Marks on Newborn, Called Newborn 'Evil'

Father Sentenced for Leaving Bite Marks on Newborn, Called Newborn ‘Evil’

After confessing to repeatedly biting his newborn daughter, a 26-year-old Indiana father was jailed last week, leaving the child with “mouth-shaped bruises” and teeth marks all over her body.

Gavan Rogers admitted to one count of felony domestic battery resulting in bodily injury to a person under the age of fourteen.

Boone County Circuit Court Judge Lori N. Schein sentenced Rogers to three years at the Indiana Department of Corrections on Thursday, according to court documents.

Nevertheless, Schein mandated that Rogers spend less than a year in jail.

He was to spend three months in the Boone County Jail, nine months in Boone County Community Corrections, a program that offers supervised work release as an alternative to jail, and the remaining two years in supervised probation. In addition, he received credit for serving four days of service previously.

Prosecutors agreed to drop one allegation of neglect of a dependent resulting in physical damage in return for the guilty plea.

On November 3, 2022, Rogers and the baby’s mother took their 2-week-old daughter to Witham Hospital in Lebanon, Indiana, for a routine exam. Indianapolis is roughly thirty miles northwest of the facility.

Authorities noted in a probable cause affidavit that medical staff members informed them they found strange bruising on the baby’s forearms, stomach, shoulders, knee, and leg shortly after they arrived at the facility.

The staff called the Whitestown Police Department and took the baby to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

According to a physician at the children’s hospital, the young youngster looked to have various bruises, some of which had obvious tooth marks on them.

The detective discovered upon arriving at the children’s hospital that, following the baby’s delivery at Witham Hospital, a number of nurses had reported, in alarming detail, that they had heard Rogers “making aggressive and offensive comments about his daughter, to his daughter.”

This information is stated in the affidavit. According to reports, Rogers made remarks about the infant in the neonatal intensive care unit that included calling her a “little b—-,” calling her “evil,” and calling her “ungrateful.”

A few days later, the same nurse reportedly watched Rogers and his infant interact in a concerning way once more. In her report, she noted that she noticed a “distinct difference” in the child’s behavior when Rogers handled the child as opposed to the baby’s mother.

“Another time in the room, (Rogers) had the baby completely undressed and laying in his lap. The baby was physically cold and crying while he watched and recorded videos of her crying,” as per the affidavit. “I am not comfortable sending this baby home to the care of (Rogers).”

The nursing staff at Witham also saw that Rogers took more time to explain the risks involved with shaking the infant and appeared to become particularly irritated when his daughter cried.

Rogers stated he generally lives with his parents in Greencastle, which is roughly 50 miles southwest of Whitestown, but that he had been spending the last two weeks with the infant and her mother in Whitestown during an interview with a detective from the Whitestown police department.

When questioned about his daughter’s wounds, Rogers reportedly informed hospital staff that he had “play-bites” or “open-mouth kissed” the child too hard. Later, after the infant was properly clothed, he told the investigator that he must have “nibbled too hard” on her.

The baby seemed to have “at least six” bite marks, according to the detective who was on the scene.

According to the affidavit, “these injuries could only have been inflicted while using excessive force, which would have caused severe pain to the newborn.”

Rogers was mandated by the court to appear at the Boone County Jail by 6 p.m. on Monday, April 1 in order to start serving his sentence.