MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A north metro foster care provider is accused of breaking several bones of an infant boy in her custody.
Melissa Anne Sondrol, of Champlin, is charged with third-degree assault, court documents filed in Hennepin County show.
According to a criminal complaint, the 39-year-old foster mom began taking care of the 7-week-old boy on Aug. 30.
Earlier this month, she took the child to a hospital, telling doctors the child wasn’t moving his right leg normally.
Doctors found the child had a fractured femur. Additionally, x-rays showed the boy also suffered broken bones in his shin, foot and ribs.
Child abuse experts concluded that the femur break was just a few days old, the criminal complaint states. Likewise, the other injuries appeared to have happened while the boy was in Sondrol’s custody.
A geneticist reviewed the boy’s x-rays and found that there was no evidence of bone disease that could account for the child’s injuries.
There were also no allegations of abuse by the boy’s biological parents, the complaint states.
In an interview with police, Sondrol said that the child was “an incredibly, incredibly fussy baby.”
When investigators spoke with Sondrol’s family, her teenage children told them about a conversation in which Sondrol told her husband about hearing a “popping” sound when bicycling the child’s legs to relieve gas.
When asked about this later, Sondrol recalled the conversation with her husband.
“I heard a pop,” she allegedly told police. “I don’t know why I didn’t tell you that. That’s what prompted me to take him in.”
No doctors remembered hearing the story about bicycling the child’s legs, the complaint states.
Sondrol denied knowing how the boy suffered the other broken bones.
If convicted of the assault charge, Sondrol faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
The state is seeking an aggravated sentence for cruelty and because the child was particularly vulnerable.