Coach Accused In Baby's Sex Assault In Court 5-19-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Coach Accused In Baby's Sex Assault In Court 5-19-2011

Witnesses took to the stand Thursday in the case of a local coach charged with assaulting an 11-month-old girl.
Mark Townsend, 27, was arrested after the alleged assault last year. He is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree child abuse.
TV5’s Craig McMorris was inside the courtroom to hear testimony in the case on Thursday.
Bay County sheriff's deputy Ryan Christie described the 11-month-old girl that he saw in an emergency room in March of 2010. "The child appeared beat up," said Christie.
Authorities said she had extensive bruises to her face and further examination found the girl had trauma to her genital area. The deputy interviewed Townsend, who said the girl hurt herself.
Townsend had been watching the daughter of his 27-year-old girlfriend. TV5 is not releasing the mother’s identity to protect the identity of the victim.
The mother testified that during the afternoon of the incident in question Townsend called or texted her that something had happened to the child, and that he was not responsible for it.
The mother told authorities she left work and went home. When she got there, she said Townsend left the house to go to a basketball game. A couple of hours later the mother changed the child's diaper and discovered blood. She then took the baby to the emergency room.
The baby's father also testified that he had the child earlier in the day. He then turned the child over to Townsend that afternoon. He testified the child was fine up to that point.
A nurse who is a trauma specialist testified that she examined the baby at the hospital and determined the child suffered extensive facial and genital trauma, which could only have been caused by a foreign object, and could not have occurred by falling out of a high chair.
The preliminary exam was continued to a future date. Meanwhile, conviction of the most serious charge, first-degree criminal sexual conduct with penetration, could bring a sentence of life in prison.
Townsend works for the Bangor School District as a support staff member.
Superintendent Shawn Bishop said Townsend's job is to supervise students in detention. He began coaching for the district in 2005 before becoming a school aid in 2007.
Townsend is currently free on bond and has been placed on unpaid administrative leave by the Bangor Township School District.
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