South St. Paul man gets 74 months in prison for assaulting FL infant

Assault took place last August

Mark James Nelson, 32, of South St. Paul, was sentenced on Friday to 74 months in prison for first-degree assault on a six-month-old baby boy in Forest Lake, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said.

Washington County District Court Judge John Hoffman handed down the sentence. Nelson had entered a guilty plea on Jan. 12, 2012 to the crime which took place on August 19, 2011.

Nelson, in pleading guilty, admitted the facts in the complaint, which stated he was dating the mother of the infant and became angry with the mother. Nelson then picked up the baby and squeezed his torso until he heard some cracking noises.

Medical personnel from the Hennepin County Medical Center determined that 22 of the boy’s 24 ribs were broken, counting 37 separate fractures.

Medical examiners also found bruising to the liver and lungs, together with trauma to the eyes, all being indicative of child abuse, according to the complaint.

“The injuries this poor child suffered were absolutely horrendous,” Orput said in a press release.

“No one, much less an infant, should have had to undergo such suffering. We are pleased to be able to bring some justice to this child and his family. We are also extremely pleased to be able to report that the child is recovering and doing well.:

The case was prosecuted by Karin McCarthy, an assisant county attorney.