A Jackson County, West Virginia, man has been detained on a charge of first degree sexual assault of a 9-month-old baby girl.
Benjamin Taylor, 32, allegedly committed the offense at the apartment complex where he lived with his girlfriend, the baby’s mother, WOWK reported.
The woman went looking for Taylor and the baby Oct. 3 after waking up to find them missing. She located them both in the basement of the apartment building and noticed the baby was bleeding.
“When EMS responded, the child was discovered as being what we would call unresponsive,” Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs told the West Virginia Metro News.
The woman questioned Taylor about the injuries and he reportedly replied that he did not know how they occurred.
Taylor then told deputies he had taken the baby to the basement at 10 p.m. the previous evening while he was doing laundry. He added that he laid the baby on a blanket and she was fine at that point.
Taylor went on to allege he had blacked out and did not know how the girl was injured. Later he changed his story, saying he was not aware of any blood on the baby until the mother located it.
“We’re adamantly convinced there was a sexual assault that took place between a gentleman in his mid to late 20’s against a nine and a half month old baby girl,” Boggs added.
Taylor did admit to having custody and care of the child from the time everyone else went to bed the previous night to the time he was found in the basement.
“I don’t know that there’s words to describe this crime,” Boggs added. “From either aspect of what this little girl has endured to what kind of a person could do this.”
Taylor was detained and is being held on a bond of $2 million. Police obtained a search warrant for his clothing and to take his blood and DNA samples.
The official criminal complaint against Taylor accuses him of causing life-threatening injuries to the baby and doing nothing to save the victim’s life.
“I truly don’t think we can comprehend, even after being involved and seeing it and dealing with it, it’s pretty much unfathomable,” Boggs added. “There’s not words in my vocabulary that can describe this.”
Update: The baby was taken off life support and has passed away, WOWK reported on Oct. 5. Taylor will be charged with murder.