Warning: this story will have you seeing red.
An Oregon couple, Joshua Marbury and Alicia Quinney, have claimed that their infant son, Jacob, was injured at the hands of their babysitter. The parents are now outraged because authorities are not pursuing charges against the sitter thanks to a precedent set by previous court rulings.
The parents say that the incident occurred one night when they returned home to find their son screaming and the unnamed babysitter asleep in their home. The next morning their son was covered in bruises, one which closely resembled the palm of an adult hand.
According to OregonLive Mr. Marbury believes that a 2012 ruling in the Oregon Court of Appeals led to authorities not pressing the case, because it has made it difficult to file charges of abuse when the victim can't speak. Since Jacob can't personally explain the physical injury he sustained, the precedent states, it is difficult to prove what happened.
The surprising legal standard means that adults are able to get away with hurting children as long as the injuries are not "substantial," meaning even welts and shallow cuts are not enough to prosecute.
Marbury posted his frustrations to Facebook, and the post went viral with 290,000 shares. Warning, the images he posted of his son are heartbreaking:
While Jacob's bruises have now healed, his mother says the incident has changed her son. "He's always been a mama's boy very much but since this happened he's been a mama's boy times 100," she said. "This isn't something we can move on from."
Washington County Deputy District Attorney Dustin Staten told OregonLive that at the time of the ruling he had not seen the pictures of Jacob posted on Facebook by his father, and that they have had a powerful effect on him. "Seeing those photos has caused me to want to take a different path," Staten told the website on Saturday. "There's additional people I need to consult with based on those photos I've seen today."
Hopefully Jacob's case will help set a new precedent in case — God forbid — something this horrifying happens to another child in the state.
(Photo: rubberball/Getty Images)