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updated: 7/11/2011 5:20 PM

Expert: abuse caused Elgin baby's broken legs

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  • Ricardo Robledo-Espino

      Ricardo Robledo-Espino

 
 

A radiologist testified Monday that the two broken legs that an eight-week-old Elgin girl suffered in spring 2010 were not self inflicted or the result of an accident.

"Multiple fractures are more suggestive of child abuse," said Jennifer Lim-Dunham, a radiologist at Loyola University Medical Center.

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The victim's father, Richardo Robledo-Espino, 29, of the 300 block of McClure Avenue, is on trial for aggravated battery to a child.

If convicted, he faces six to 30 years in prison; probation is not an option.

Espino was arrested last spring after the child was found to have "bucket handle fractures" just below her kneecaps. A bucket handle fracture is a term given to broken bones around the knees that can result when an infant is shaken violently.

According to police reports, Espino told police he did not know how the injuries occurred, but that he may have accidentally pushed the baby's legs down while getting himself out of bed.

Dunham, who reviewed X-rays taken in April 2010 at Sherman Hospital in Elgin, said that in her opinion that story was impossible.

"(The fractures) requires a high degree of force and a twisting and pulling on the extremities," she said.

Dunham said she could not pinpoint when the injuries occurred, but said they were likely less than a month old and not a result from child birth. She also said it was impossible to create those injuries accidentally through play, changing a diaper, or making a cycling motion with the infant's legs.

"An infant that young is not capable of generating the force necessary" to cause the injuries accidentally, Dunham said.

She added that the baby did not have a bone-related disease that could have cause the fractures because the density of her bones was normal.

The trial before Kane County Judge Patricia Golden is expected to run until at least Wednesday.

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