STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) — A South St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a then 6-week-old child, breaking nearly all of the infant’s ribs.

Mark James Nelson, 32, entered his guilty plea in Washington County District Court.

Nelson was accused of assaulting the child after fighting with the baby’s mother last August. The criminal complaint said Nelson, who was dating the mother of the infant from Forest Lake, picked up the child and squeezed its torso until he heard cracking noises.

Doctors said 22 of the infant’s 24 ribs were broken and there were 37 separate fractures. Medical personnel at Hennepin County Medical Center also found bruising to the liver and lungs, all consistent with child abuse, according to the criminal complaint.

“The injuries this poor child suffered were absolutely horrendous, so horrendous that, when the guilty plea was entered, one of the onlookers in the courtroom, there on another case, when hearing the facts began to cry,” said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput.

Nelson will be sentenced on March 23. The standard sentencing guidelines for charges of this type call for up to eight and a half years in prison.

Comments (50)
  1. tan pup says:

    SEND THE WORTHLESS MOTHER TO JAIL TOO AND GET THAT CHILD TO SOMEONE WHO WILL CHERISH IT! Come-on all you Pro Lifers – time to put your money where you mouth is: how about protecting all those who are already here!

    1. Larry F. says:

      Tan you are a complete twit. Why do you blame the mother and pro-lifers? You seriously need help.

      1. Real Talk says:

        Larry….what do you mean, why blame the mother? Why not you TWIT!?!

        You think the infant chose to have this psycho path in his life? Take one look at this mouth-breather and tell me why we shouldn’t hang this woman for being so stupid as to allow this creep near her infant?

        And i hardly think he was actually blaming pro-lifers. Just pointing out the irony that they fight so hard to make sure each fetus is born….but once it is, they dont give a chit if someone breaks all its ribs…its a ward of the state as far as they are concerned.

        1. Cindi says:

          I totally agree Real Talk and Tan Pup. Both of them should get the same thing done to them IMO. Bet it’s not the first time he abused that poor baby.

        2. Julie says:

          It’s not fair to blame the mother without having all the facts first. Was this the first time he got physically violent? If so, you can’t give her consequences for HIS actions. HOWEVER, if she didn’t immediately call the police when it happened, then she is responsible. Have you heard about the Ethan Stacy case? The boyfriend beat the little boy and the mother did nothing because she was worried they would arrest him. The boy ended up dying from his injuries the next day. She is being charged with first-degree murder… and for good reason.

          I hope the mother of this child is given appropriate consequences. And I hope this worthless boyfriend endures the worst torture possible during his stay in prison. He should never be forgiven or trusted after what he did to this innocent baby.

        3. tan pup says:

          RT – thanks – that’s exactly what I meant.

        4. Larry F. says:

          RT, cruise control for cool! Nice work. You are a prime example of a bag of some sort…

          How can you possibly blame the mother, where does the story state she knew he would be violent toward the child? People are not books, you can’t read them based on the cover. If you believe this is possible you have a problem that can be described by word most people don’t like to have used to describe them.

          I would believe that most pro-lifers hope that the “psycho path” (extra space in there, stud) receives the maximum sentence possible on March 23. I would hope that almost everyone hopes the mom doesn’t show up in support of him. If that happens I would believe almost everyone, including pro-lifers, would have a proper reason for placing blame on the mother.

          I hope the child receives the best medical care and has no permanent injuries and grows up to have a superb life. The child is the most important person in this story.

      2. mom says:

        Larry the mother is just as much to blame as the worthless human being who did this, no real mother would allow any man to pick up their child and squeeze it, and since this little baby had other injuries I am going to guess this isn’t the 1st time he or even the mother has harmed this precious child. She should be forced to have her tubes tide so she can’t bring anymore children into this world if she isn’t going to protect them. I am very much pro life and would love to terminate any parent’s right that harms or allows harm to come to their child. I think if you abuse your child you should not get a second chance, there are so many families out there that can’t have children that would love and protect them, they should send this baby to one of those families but the social service system and laws we have for some reason still believe that biology automatically makes someone a parent, they have not realized that a parent is someone that does everything in their power to protect their child not harm them

    2. Jasper2 says:

      What kind of drugs are you on, you total nitwit? You think because a person is against murdering a child for their own convenience while it is still in the womb is in FAVOR of killing it when it has changed addresses?

      Murdering unborn children for convenience cheapens all life–EVEN YOURS!

      1. Real Talk says:

        No it doesnt. What you dont realize is that you spout your opinion as if it is fact. It is not. It is your view…and its partial.

        There is no universal truths book that states it cheapens lifes…you just happen to personally believe that. And while that is just fine…dont be dumb enough to try and make others think and believe exactly what you do.

        Small minds like your cheapen human life. To be alive, yet so dumb & ignorant is the real travisty here.

      2. societies ills says:

        So do those who cause unwanted pregnancies, and walk away, with nothing to worry about. I wish one time I would hear a Pro-Lifer yell the Sire needs to be held accountable and rapists should be castrated. Oh, and Porn is a killer also. Never hear that or have seen it on one of their signs. Same with the Catholic church. Lets take care of the garbage that causes unwanted pregnancies, in the first place.

  2. Joe says:



    1. army vet says:

      Internet tough guy here folks. Look here “Joe”, the only pain your going to inflict is upon yourself. You look like a moron posting such garbage. Now, as far as the article goes, I hope this animal does some serious time. It’s very saddening to see what “Joes” society has become.

      1. Real Talk says:

        Wow. You sound like a little girl. Too bad, i bet the Marines could have made a man out of you.

        And I am definetly not a tough guy. But i agree with Joe. No purpose in locking him up. Cost too much money and wont accomplish anything.

        This guy deserves to be carved up and tortured phyically. While i conceed it would still occur on some levels: how prevalant do you think child abuse would be if all the perpetrators met the fate that myself and Joe would prefer?

        But oh no, we dont want do offend your delicate sensiblities…you just keep locking them up. It obviously works so well as a crime detereant and rehabilition tool.

        1. @ real talk says:

          Little girls are very strong and in medical problems are the better survivors. Its Hollywood’s brain washing that is misogynistic, and berates the girls. Say what kind of man has to belittle little girls anyways?

          1. Crosby says:

            It’s great that those with down-syndrome can post online but i would hope the handlers would watch what they do. The point here is that the evil of this world needs to be shown the wrath that awaits them. But I guess there are those who believe this should go on so people can have freedom till children suffer. This is the same attitude that has led to the nightmare that is N. Mpls.

    2. The new normal says:

      Couldn’t agree more

  3. Sam i am says:

    How about having single mother’s not be so anxious to find a man, that they just raise their child.

    And go ahead jump all over me. I am a divorced parent who refuses to date until my children are adults and on their own.

    1. its true says:

      That is exactly correct. Protect the innocent children first, as we have a severe problem with mainly males and many women today. Remember when you could have men friends that you looked up to as a brother? Too bad we couldn’t fix the problem with them as the Baboon troupe where all the bully males hogged the food that was dumped. Bad thing was, it was poisoned and they all died. The troupe then, never allowed outrageous male behavior again and became a matriarch. True story.

    2. jackactionhero says:

      I agree with the first part of what you said, but the second part just sounds dumb. If you’re so incapable of judging character that you are afraid all your choices will abuse your children, then perhaps it’s you who has part of the problem.

    3. Moe says:

      I agree Sam, I’m divorced too and decided to focus on my kids rather than jump into another relationship for myself. I figured they came first in my life so they deserved my full attention, rather than being shuffled off to their room so daddy could “get his groove on” .

  4. TWeber says:

    This makes me so angry… I sure hope he gets more than a slap on the wrists.

  5. Redneck Purist says:

    Look at the guys forehead. Is this dude related to Garrison Keillor? They could be brothers.

    1. Larry says:

      Ha! Now that’s funny right there!

  6. Dave says:

    I hope you get hit by a bus and then die a slow painful death.

  7. fitswell says:

    send him to jail and let them beat his ass for a while.

  8. angry says:

    have fun in prison those guys in there don’t take kindly to baby beaters you low life son of a $8%ch

  9. Peace says:

    Most pro-lifers would believe this child should be taken from his mother if it’s determined she is unfit to protect her child (at this point it appears that way). However, our liberal government would never separate this child from his mother and the abuse will continue with the next loser boyfriend she drags home.

    1. Lisa says:

      Why am I not surprised that some idiot would bring politics into this? Get a life….

  10. Good Guy says:

    really surprised. He looks like a nice enough guy. Just goes to show that abusers can be the boy next door. Don’t be fooled by clean cut appearances.

  11. Al says:

    I would make dam sure the boys in the prison find out what he’s in there for. Retrobution will be theirs. Who knows? maybe he’ll wind up with 22 broken ribs and bruised organs.

  12. Renee says:

    AGAIN! How many stories like this does it take before these dumb women get wise and stay away from these loosers that are not their baby’s daddy??? This inmature punk was jealous of this poor little baby. I was a single mother to 2 boys and I did not bring home any men till my kids were older and not babies anymore, my job was to raise them two boys first and foremost!

  13. git the dude says:

    30 years in prison for possessing and growing 400 lbs of pot, a non violent offender.

    8 years for crushing a baby’s ribs. a violent offender.

    Yup, seems fair to me. At least he wasn’t a pothead otherwise he might have been much more mellow. Just saying…

  14. Kevin says:

    I dont get it….he doesnt look like someone who would beat a child…..

    1. Good Guy says:

      I bet he sure would like some of them french fried potaters.

  15. jeff jensen says:

    You are ALL missing the point…Look at this guy, how can he possibly be guilty??? note the high brow- signifying intelligence, note the semi uni-brow- signifying sophistication, note the narrow width between the eyes- signifying an evolutionary step above the rest of us…….nope, I made a mistake, they all signify being inbred trailer trash…….damn, reaally thought I was on to something there…..

    1. Mega-Mega-Mega Meth Head says:

      Hahahahah oh Jeff, thank you for bringing a tiny bit of light to such a dark and horrendous place such as this!! Bravo! He looks like Mega Mind… Google it.

  16. jeff jensen says:

    Seperated at birth….Jack Nicholson in the Shining……

  17. marilyn.ries says:

    what kind of mother would allow this to happen to a baby ? she is as sick as he is !!

  18. kat says:

    He belongs in hell. I hope there he will endure suffering of cracked ribs for eternity…the guy just looks liek a loser.

    1. fred says:

      before his trip to hell, this creep should be dragged to the street and flogged!

  19. Eugenia Renskoff says:

    Hi, Poor kid. May he get another home, a good home. Eugenia Renskoff

  20. Seen Enough says:

    Break his ribs one by one. Pull his finger and toe nails off one by one. Drill him in the knees. Pull each of his teeth out (if there are any left on this mouth breathing meth face). Pour vinegar in his eyes. Light him on fire and just before he dies, put the fire out. Then dump him in the middle of the desert for the varmints to nibble on.

    Disgusting piece of feces.

    1. The Infidel says:

      Yup, works for me…….

      Just 10 minutes, that’s all I ask.

    2. The thinker says:

      That’s pretty lenient, don’t you think?

  21. MadinMn says:

    Mark James Nelson your a VERY LUCKY man that im not the police officer assigned to you GOD i hope you fell down so many stairs and watch your rips crack I just now seen the Devil its you Mark James Nelson have fun in hell

  22. Crosby says:

    I figure you coven him in fuel and ignite him he will understand that where he’s going eventually is going to actually be a tad warmer! Please burn and make us all a little bit warmer.

  23. c says:

    The “hood” women are only interested in gettin sum. The real fear exsists with real responsibility, financial planning, finding a man that doesn’t run off to Chicago. Maybe one day things will be different

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