SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Somerset woman faces charges after allegedly abusing her two-year-old son and lying to police about what happened so they wouldn’t take him away, officials reported.
Somerset Borough police began their investigation April 24 when UPMC Somerset reported that a small child had injuries consistent with child abuse, according to charges filed. He had severe bruising on his forehead, back, buttocks and arms as well as bite marks. Additionally, the doctor said he had injuries to his scrotum.
The child was brought to the hospital by his father and grandmother who told police they had just picked the boy up from his mother, 25-year-old Corrina Baer, when they noticed his injuries.
Baer was questioned by police later that day, and she was angry over the fact her son was taken to the hospital without her knowledge, adding that the boy was acting normal and nothing was wrong with him. She said he had been sliding up and down the steps and was bitten by a cat while he was under the teenage babysitter’s supervision the night before, police noted.
Baer claimed she was gone from 9:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m., so her son was with the babysitter during those hours. When she came home, he had deep purple bruises. She told police she questioned the babysitter, and the babysitter allegedly said to Baer that he was playing rough, moving up and down the stairs, bouncing around and jumping on the couch. Then when she was changing him, the cat came up and bit him and scratched him.
However, police told Baer it was evident that the bite marks were from a human, not a cat and not from a teenager — meaning they came from an adult. They also asked her where the head injuries may have come from, and Baer laughed and said her son ran into the wall and hurt himself, the affidavit noted.
On May 6, police interviewed the teenager that is said to have babysat the boy the night before he was taken to the hospital.
At first, the teenager repeated what Bear told police during her interview. She also added that Baer decided to give the boy a bath to try to make his bruises disappear because she was afraid he might be taken away from her once she dropped him off at his father’s house.
The teenager said the bath was approximately two hours, and she was worried because when she dipped her toes in the water, she realized it was hot and the child had turned red in places. However, Baer told her she saw on TikTok that a hot bath would make the bruises disappear, so the child was fine.
Further into the interview, the teenager told police Baer asked her to lie so they wouldn’t take her son away, and if she stuck to the story, no one would get in trouble. The injuries had been there prior to the teen babysitting him. This wasn’t the first time Baer asked the teen to lie for her either, she added.
During another interview with Baer, she tried to stick to her story, but she started slipping up the details, leading police closer to the truth. Each time she slipped up, she would change the story a bit or claim she couldn’t remember exact details, police noted.
Police presented the facts before Baer that they had gathered, noting that the injuries were unlikely to have occurred while he was under supervision of the teenager — for instance, bruises don’t turn a deep color instantly, meaning they had been there for a few days.
Eventually, Baer admitted to abusing her son. Police asked if she had grabbed him and spanked him aggressively, and she replied “yeah.” They asked if she planned on blaming the minor, and she shook her head yes. She also agreed that she caused the bite marks.
Baer was arraigned Tuesday and faces aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minor charges.
An unsecured bail of $15,000 was set, and her preliminary hearing is slated for Nov. 9.
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