Assault on infant gets man year in jail

Posted Dec. 12, 2008, at 6:41 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:54 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Corinth man convicted last week of injuring his 5-week-old son was sentenced Friday in Hancock County Superior Court to serve a year behind bars.

Nicholas W. Taylor, 30, was accused of roughly handling the infant in 2002, when he and the baby’s mother were living with their two sons in Winter Harbor. The infant suffered a broken rib, bleeding in his eyes and seizures as a result of the assault, police have said.

Taylor received an overall sentence of 2½ years with all but one year suspended. He also will have to serve four years of probation upon his release, during which he has to receive counseling and attend anger-management classes.

Justice Kevin Cuddy also ruled that, during his probation, Taylor is not to be in the presence of children younger than 5 years of age in “confined spaces,” which the judge described as places such as houses or cars.

Taylor tearfully told Cuddy that he never meant to hurt his son, who is now 6 years old. Taylor said physical injuries he received in a car accident were to blame for the way he handled the infant.

“I never dismissed that an injury happened to my son,” Taylor said. “I was never angry or out of control when the injuries happened. It was just the way my body reacted to a car accident.”

Apologizing to the judge, Taylor cut himself short as his voice strained with emotion.

The boy’s mother, Rachel Dragon, said after the sentencing that she felt Taylor should have been sentenced to more time behind bars. Two years would have been more appropriate, she said, because that is how long their young son spent in physical therapy after he had been hurt. The boy is believed to have recovered from his injuries.

“I’m not very impressed with the verdict,” she said. “It’s by the grace of God that he recovered the way he did. I just want to move on with my life.”

Dragon, who had two sons with Taylor, said she thinks Taylor is exaggerating the effect of the car accident, which happened in Ellsworth in December 2001. She and their other son also were in that same accident, she said, but they have not had any long-term problems from it.

The mother said she found it “frustrating” when Taylor suggested during the trial that she might be the one responsible for her son’s injuries. She denied there was any truth to the allegation and said more could be done to help alert people to the potential dangers that convicted child abusers pose.

“I think there should be a registry for convicted child abusers like there is for convicted sex offenders,” Dragon said.

Cuddy said during the sentencing that, though the baby’s injuries were serious, infants and small children are “fragile” and therefore more susceptible to injury. He said that because it took six years for the case to get to trial, it allows for a better perspective on how serious the assault was.

“This child has essentially recovered from the impact of these injuries,” Cuddy said.

Taylor’s attorney, Andy Slater of Ellsworth, said outside the courtroom that he was “pleased” with the sentence.

“I think the court put a lot of thought into an appropriate sentence,” Slater said. “The most significant sentence that has been imposed on Nick is the loss of his ability to be involved in the raising of his child in any capacity.”

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