SLN staff

A Union Grove man is accused of severely abusing a two-month-old baby, leaving the infant with a broken arm, broken ribs and a fractured skull among other injuries.

Gavin Pallesen

Gavin Pallesen, 22, was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with six counts of physical abuse of a child – four of them involving the infant and two other counts involving two other children in the home. He is also charged with a single count of strangulation and suffocation.

An investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office learned from staff at Children’s Wisconsin Hospital that the baby, who was born Oct. 8, had suffered a broken arm, broken ribs, a nondisplaced buckle fracture of the neck and a skull fracture, according to the criminal complaint. Hospital officials said it appeared the broken ribs were in different stages of healing, which indicate the abuse occurred over a period of time.

Three of the charges against Pallesen involving the infant are for physical abuse of a child – recklessly causing great bodily harm and the fourth is for repeated acts intentionally causing great bodily harm.

According to the complaint, a 6-year-old child who witnessed some of the abuse demonstrated to investigators how Pallesen shook the baby rapidly and how he pushed the sides of the baby’s head “so hard she heard a crack,” which caused the baby to cry.

The 6-year-old also told investigators that on a different day she saw Pallesen bend the baby’s arm until it made a popping sound, the complaint states.

Pallesen is also accused of lifting a 2-year-old child off the floor by her hair, according to the complaint. When the 6-year-old threatened to tell her mother about the incident, Pallesen allegedly grabbed her by the ear and tore an earring out, cutting her ear.

The 6-year-old also said that when she was 5, Pallesen put his hands around her throat and squeezed, causing her to be “knocked out,” according to the complaint.

Investigators interviewed the mother of the children, who said she and Pallesen are the only people available to take care of the children. She said Pallesen’s parenting is “borderline overly-strict to abusive,” the complaint states.

The mother told investigators that Pallesen has anger and impulse control issues, according to the complaint.

Pallesen made his initial appearance in court Monday and was ordered not to have contact with the children or their mother. A court commissioner set a cash bond at $25,000.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 16, according to court records.

For additional court news from Western Racine County communities see this week’s editions of the Westine Report, Burlington Standard Press or Waterford Post.