MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former day care worker in Eagan is sentenced to 90 days in prison for an assault that left a 13-month-old boy with permanent brain damage.

A jury found 33-year-old Mariel Grimm guilty of first-degree assault in July.

The September 2016 incident started when Grimm called 911, telling authorities the boy became unresponsive while she was changing his diaper. Doctors disputed her telling of events, noting the boy’s traumatic brain injuries were more consistent with being violently shaken, thrown or hit.

The child survived, but prosecutors say he suffered permanent brain damage from the incident.

The first-degree assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $30,000 fine. Grimm’s 90-day sentence also includes 60 days of electronic home monitoring, 200 hours of community work and a $1,000 fine.

Comments (5)
  1. Tim Neumann says:

    Not enough for cause life long disability to a toddler, damn liberal judges.

    1. Paul Reardon says:

      For all those who might read this and not understand the full weight and facts of the case, please read before you comment:

      This boy suffered from mass diffuse axonal shearing. The brain is comprised of two different parts, the gray matter and the white matter. These have different densities, so they accelerate and decelerate (on contact with the skull) at different rates. This causes a brief and violent separation between these two layers, across which the axons of the brain stretch. This stretching occurs uniformly between these layers when caused by swelling or pressure increase alone (as with concussions and other mildly traumatic instances of hemorrhage) so no damage occurs to the axons. When this stretching occurs due to high energy trauma, it results in the axonal connections being shorn (severed) since they are being stretched at the myelinated area between the two layers. This results in immediate onset of symptoms as the autonomic and somatic systems of the brain are deprived of their necessary electrical connections.

      Short falls result in concussions which lead to vasogenic edema. Essentially the blood brain barrier is compromised and the vessel walls within the brain become weakened from anoxia (lack of oxygen) and their content leaks into the interstitial space.

      Severe acute traumatic injuries (think an overpressure wave from a bomb or a car accident or abuse) result in primarily cytotoxic edema where extracellular ions (specifically sodium and other cations) are drawn into the cells which then draws in anions to balance them out. This causes cell death by essentially suffocating the electron transport chain of the necessary ions and cations to undergo phosphorylation, or the production of ATP.

      They are easily distinguishable from one another and are obvious markers of very specific brain injuries. His persisting disability is a testament to the type of injury he suffered as well.


    2. Her sentence also includes 15 years of probation and reparations to the parents for those 15 years. If she breaks any part of the probation she will then have to serve the stayed sentence of 86 months in prison.

  2. Jess Lee says:

    I attended all 8 days of the trial, and Dr. Patterson, the state’s own witness (and only 1 of 5 pediatric neuroradiologists in MN) said that the injury could have happened 12-72 hours prior to the baby’s presentation at the hospital. It’s in the transcript. Also, the first CT scan states “ischemic event” which in medical terms, indicates a stroke. There was more than reasonable doubt in this case.

    1. He said that only looking at the scan.When you look at the other factors, mainly that the child was normal prior to the event, then suddenly unresponsive, that made the timeline much shorter. Also the surgeon who operated on him testified that the hemetoma was different degrees of fresh blood. Yes the defense lawyer actually tried to make the argument that looking at the scan would be more accurate than looking directly at the hematoma and brain.

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