Woman pleads guilty to lesser charges in toddler’s severe injuries

Local News

A 25-year-old Davenport woman accused of severely injuring a toddler pleaded guilty Wednesday to lesser charges.

Taylor Moss faced charges of child endangerment – multiple acts, willful injury – causing serious injury, child endangerment – bodily injury and neglect or abandonment of a dependent person in connection with a case involving a severely injured child.

Moss withdrew her previous plea of not guilty and has pleaded guilty to lesser charges: Two counts of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury and an amended charge of neglect of a dependent person, court documents say.

If upon review of a presentence investigation report and/or further consideration at the sentencing hearing the court decides to reject the plea agreement, Moss can withdraw the guilty plea.

A sentencing hearing for Moss is set for Aug. 5 in Scott County Court. A presentence investigation report will be submitted at least three work days before the sentencing, court documents say.

Her co-defendant, Justin Perkins, 38, of Davenport, is set for further court proceedings July 9. He has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of child endangerment – multiple acts.

Justin Perkins

The investigation

On July 12, 2020, Davenport Police Department began an investigation involving an unresponsive 2-year-old boy at a Genesis medical center.

The boy was diagnosed with a perforated bowel. An abdomen x-ray showed the child had rib fractures of varying ages.

The child was transferred to the University of Iowa Hospital because of the severity of his injuries and was not discharged until Aug. 4.

Perkins admitted he and a woman were the only caretakers for the boy since March. Perkins said he had no knowledge as to how the injuries occurred to the child, court documents say.

The type of internal injury the toddler suffered is caused “by high-energy bursting forces or direct blows to the abdomen,” the arrest document says.

The child had new rib fractures to the seventh and eighth ribs when he was taken to Genesis. He had partially healed rib fractures to the 10th and 11th ribs on the right side and partially healed rib fractures on the ninth, 10th and 11th on the left side.

The boy had two rib fractures that were completely healed on the eighth and ninth ribs on the left side. Because of three different healing stages of rib fractures, “there would have been three different intentional assaults inflicted upon the child causing multiple serious injuries within the time span of four to six weeks.”

It wasn’t until the boy was unresponsive that a family member was consulted for advice which led to calling 911, police said.

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