Mar 5, 2015 4:56 PM

Police: Newmarket father caused infant's 17 broken bones, skull fracture

NEWMARKET - A young father is accused of punching and squeezing his infant so badly, it caused 17 broken bones and a fractured skull.

Jose Orta-Santana, 25, turned himself in to police after allegedly telling his girlfriend, Carissa Sarazin, that their 3-month-old son was injured after he "slipped on a cloth rag."

Sarazin first brought the boy - identified by neighbors as Joseph - to Exeter Hospital. He was later flown to Children's Hospital Boston and was placed into a medically-induced coma in the hospital's ICU.

Doctors there told authorities that the injuries appeared much worse than a fall.

"This is probably the most serious child abuse case that we've dealt with in a long, long time," said Newmarket Police Chief Kevin Cyr.

Orta-Santana is reported to have voluntarily gone to the Newmarket Police station, where he agreed to an interview. Orta-Santana then allegedly admitted to punching, squeezing and dropping the boy on a bed to make him 'stop crying.'

Orta-Santana would allegedly hurt the boy's head, wrists, ribs and legs because his crying would make him 'frustrated.'

Police arrested Orta-Santana following their interview, charging him with first and second degree assault - two felonies.

"You don't realize what's going on next door, until something happens to your neighbor that you know," said neighbor James Carmody.

Other neighbors described the infant as a "beautiful baby" to they would occasionally hear cry - but they never thought something so horrifying would be happening behind closed doors.

"To say it fell and there's over 17 broken bones in 3-month-old. I just - I just can't," said Barbara Moore.

Orta-Santana has been held on $100,000 cash bail.

He is scheduled to appear in court next week for a probably cause hearing.

He did not appear at an arraignment Thursday morning, and he did not enter a plea through his attorney.

The baby is reported to be in "fair" condition as of Thursday night.

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