A Winthrop man has been indicted on two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shaking his 4-month-old baby, leaving him with brain hemorrhaging and other injuries that officials said are likely to leave the child blind or with limited eyesight and severe brain damage.

Camren L. Breton

Camren L. Breton, 22, of Winthrop, initially blamed the injuries – for which he and the child’s mother had taken the baby to the hospital – on their 2-year-old child. But after a doctor said the injuries were too severe to have been caused by a 2-year-old, Breton admitted to police that he shook the baby, according to an affidavit filed by Winthrop police Detective Paul Ferland.

“Camren then approached me and stated, ‘I did it,'” Ferland wrote in the affidavit, describing an interview on July 23, two days after the alleged assault. “I asked him what he did, and he responded I shook the baby.”

Breton told Ferland he and the child’s mother were in bed around 1:30 a.m. on July 21 when he got up with the baby when he started crying. According to the affidavit, Breton said he was holding the baby, who was just shy of 4 months at the time, in his arms and cradling the baby’s head with his left hand when he turned the baby over and grabbed the infant by his face and neck and started shaking him. When asked why he did that, Ferland wrote, “Breton stated that he just lost it.”

About a week after the alleged assault, a doctor that examined the boy said that if he survived he most likely would be blind and a paraplegic. The doctor, who previously had indicated the injuries were so severe they could not have been caused by the couple’s 2-year-old child, said the child had severe bleeding in his eyes and hemorrhaging in the brain that was consistent with shaken-baby syndrome. He also stated there were apparent fractures in both of the child’s tibias, which are bones in the lower leg, and what appeared to be dark brown blood in the brain, which he said was most likely from an older injury.

District Attorney Maegan Maloney confirmed on Friday that the child is currently surviving, but has lost or limited eyesight and severe brain damage.

Police were notified after Breton and the child’s mother had taken the child to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where a state Department of Health and Human Services caseworker reported the child had a head injury; older burns on his neck and shoulder; bruising to his neck, nose and face; and a possible break in his lower leg.

Breton told police the burns on the child’s back happened when their older child spilled hot milk on the infant, apparently while trying to feed him while Breton was out of the room. The affidavit states that DHHS officials, at the time of the incident, planned to file paperwork to take both the children on a temporary basis until the court could hear the case.

Breton was indicted by a Kennebec County grand jury, which met last week, on two counts of aggravated assault, one Class A, the other Class B. The Class A count alleges he caused bodily injury to the child “… that caused serious, permanent disfigurement or loss or substantial impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”

The Class A aggravated assault charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Breton was released on $1,000 cash bail.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt but indicates there is enough evidence for the case to move forward and proceed to trial.

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