March 12, 2010

Police say man broke both his son's legs

EDWARD D

— By . MURPHY

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20090107_ExactChange

Gordon Chibroski

Staff Writer

A 21-year-old Waterboro man has been accused of breaking his 15-month-old son's legs, the York County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

According to authorities, Shaun Dubnick-Sadowski was arrested Tuesday night after his son was taken to H.D. Goodall Hospital in Sanford. Dubnick-Sadowski allegedly twisted both of the child's legs Sunday, then tried to cover it up for two days before the boy was treated, said Lt. Gary Fecteau.

Dubnick-Sadowski was charged with elevated aggravated assault on a child under 4 years old. At an initial court appearance, bail was set at $500 cash, and he was still being held at the York County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon.

Fecteau said Dubnick-Sadowski gave police no reason for his alleged actions. Sheriff Maurice Oullette said Dubnick-Sadowski has no previous criminal record.

Fecteau said Dubnick-Sadowski was home alone with the child Sunday when he allegedly broke the child's legs. He initially told the child's mother that the boy fell down and might have hurt his ankle, and later said that he accidentally fell on the child while playing.

Dubnick-Sadowski gave the child pain relievers to hide the severity of the injuries, Fecteau said.

At the hospital, doctors found two fractures in each of the child's legs and determined that the injuries weren't consistent with what Dubnick-Sadowski said had happened. When he was confronted over the inconsistencies, Dubnick-Sadowski told police that he had snapped the boy's legs, Fecteau said.

Bernard J. Broder, a Gorham lawyer who represented Dubnick-Sadowski at the initial appearance, said no plea was entered Wednesday.

Dubnick-Sadowski told the court that ''he does have another explanation for the injuries,'' Broder said, but it was not offered at the appearance.

''He is very distraught that there would ever be an allegation that he would harm his child intentionally,'' Broder said.

According to Broder, the child's grandfather told the court that he hasn't seen Dubnick-Sadowski behave inappropriately with the boy or two other children in the home.

Broder said Dubnick-Sadowski is engaged to the boy's mother, who also has twins who are about 3. Dubnick-Sadowski is not the biological father of the twins, Broder said, but has been with their mother since about the time of their birth.

Dean Crocker, executive vice president of the Maine Children's Alliance and the governor's ombudsman for child welfare services, said most cases of parental abuse of a child are ''not that extreme'' compared with the allegations against Dubnick-Sadowski.

Usually, child abuse occurs when parents are stressed, tired or simply lack parenting skills, Crocker said.

''There are lots of cases where people essentially lose it and will throw a child against a wall or hit them, but to take a child's legs and twist them until they break -- I've never heard of that,'' Crocker said.

The mother is not expected to be charged in the case, Fecteau said. The child was being treated at the hospital under the custody of the state Department of Human Services.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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