Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – Charges of child endangerment and assault have been dismissed against an Ashville man in Circleville Municipal Court but could be refiled with additional evidence, according to Gary Kenworthy, city prosecutor.
Joshua D. Groves, 31, of East Street, Ashville, was arrested in December 2015 and accused of nearly suffocating his infant daughter who would not stop crying.
Kenworthy said the misdemeanor charges of assault and child endangerment were dismissed at a pretrial hearing Friday because there was not enough medical evidence in the file to prove the cause of the child’s injury.
The charges could be refiled within one year, however, if sufficient medical evidence is submitted.
“There was nothing in the file that would give us any degree of certainty that this action was the cause,” Kenworthy said. “If there is medical documentation that exists and a doctor would say yes, this is the cause of the child’s injury, we certainly would refile at that point.”
Groves was accused of placing the 15-month-old child on her back on his bed and bringing her knees up to her chest, applying weight and forcing the child’s legs against her torso to the point where she was gasping for breath.
Investigators maintained the child suffered from petechiae (bleeding capillaries leaking blood into the skin) on her face, head, neck, ears and eyelids, and paramedics on the scene reportedly confirmed it was caused by a prolonged lack of oxygen.
The child was treated and released from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, according to Detective Jeff George, Ashville Police Department.
Kenworthy said petechiae could be caused by a number of things, and without sufficient medical documentation, it creates reasonable doubt in a court case.
Groves was originally charged with felony counts of assault and child endangerment, but those charges were rejected by the county prosecutor’s office, George said.
He was told to refile the charges as misdemeanors in Circleville Municipal Court, which was done in January.
No decision has yet been made about the possibility of refiling the charges, George said.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal