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May 22, 2015 1:59 PM

Baby suffers skull fractures, broken bones; father charged


BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man accused of beating his 3-month-old son, breaking his bones and fracturing his skull, has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 assault charges.

Jose Orta-Santana, 25, faces multiple counts of first-degree assault and domestic violence after his infant son was brought to Exeter Hospital in February with multiple injuries and subsequently sent to Boston Children's Hospital.

According to court documents, Orta-Santana initially told the infant's mother and medical staff at the hospital that he slipped on a cloth rag while holding the baby, which caused the infant to bump his head. But hospital staff said the baby's injuries - which included two skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, as well as broken bones in his arms, legs, ribs and foot - were inconsistent with Orta-Santana's statement.

According to an affidavit, he later confessed to police that he would become “frustrated” with the infant's crying and would sometimes grab and squeeze him. Orta-Santana reportedly broke down crying and told police that he had hit the infant “a few times,” and had not been getting enough sleep.

Police said Orta-Santana confessed that he punched the infant three times in the head, then noticed the infant's head had begun to swell.

Orta-Santana is being held at the Rockingham County Jail on $100,000 cash bail. He has waived his arraignment and his right for a probable cause hearing.


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