BRATTLEBORO -- A New Hampshire man has pleaded not guilty to repeatedly assaulting a 2-year-old child last December.
Joshua K. Gilbeau, 34, of Grafton, was held on lack of $10,000 bail and transported to Southern State Correctional Facility following his arraignment on Aug. 28 where he was charged with felony first degree aggravated domestic assault and three misdemeanor counts of domestic assault.
Gilbeau had been serving time in Cheshire House of Corrections in Keene, N.H., on unrelated charges until his transport to Vermont to face the charges.
Investigation into Gilbeau began after police received a report that the child was being treated for multiple injuries at the Springfield Hospital on Dec. 6, 2011.
Vermont State Police investigator John Merrigan wrote in the affidavit that the victim had suffered a concussion, a lacerated liver, a fractured rib, a bloody nose and a broken arm that was most likely a re-break from an earlier injury.
Through an investigation, Merrigan learned the victims mother had asked Gilbeau to watch the child while she dropped off a friend. She told police she was gone no longer than an hour.
The mother told police when she returned home that night she found her son "stuck" between the bed and night stand, his blankets were covering him and he was asleep. When she picked him up off the floor she realized that he was actually awake and very quietly complaining of the red marks from
Witnesses told police that they had seen Gilbeau "acting rough" with the child on several occasions leading up to the alleged assault.
The incidents ranged from Gilbeau grabbing the child around the neck leaving red marks to Gilbeau picking up the 2-year-old by his broken arm lifting the child approximately two feet into the air and kicking him on his butt.
"(The witness) said that she has been around (the child) quite and never heard (him) scream like he did after Josh kicked him," the woman told police in a written statement.
The "ear piercing scream" sounded like "bloody murder," she added.
When asked about the incident Gilbeau told police that he agreed to check in on the child while the mother left to drive her friend home but denied any involvement in any injury to the child and was will to take a polygraph examination at any point.
Gilbeau claimed the child was put in his bedroom for the night and at some point after 10 p.m., he asked him if he wanted anything to eat or drink, to which the child said no. Gilbeau said he went to bed shortly afterward, leaving the door to the child’s room open. He said it wasn’t until the child’s mother came into his room waking him up and saying she was taking him to the hospital because he fell out of his bed.
If convicted, Gilbeau faces up to 19 and a half years behind bars and up to $40,000 in fines.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.