Woman Pleads Not Guilty In Natrona County Starving Infant Case
A Natrona County woman pleaded not guilty to two counts of child abuse and a single count of child endangerment in connection to allegations that sheriff's deputies found an infant "in a state of starvation" while in her care.
Dominique O. Clark entered the pleas in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday afternoon. Child abuse is a felony punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.
Charging documents filed in Natrona County District Court state that the child in question was not Clark's, but rather her boyfriend's. The affidavit states that Clark was responsible for the child's care as her boyfriend had an odd work schedule.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the investigation began in late December after the child was taken to her two-month checkup. The affidavit states that, in the opinion of medical professionals, the baby should have weighed 9.81 pounds but instead weighed 6.57 pounds. The baby reportedly weighed slightly less than she did when she was born roughly two months earlier.
The affidavit alleges that, in addition to being underweight, the baby also had bruises on her face and neck that included her left eye, left ear, temple and cheek.
The baby also had a significant rash on her torso, the affidavit states.
Court documents further allege that the baby had a large bald area on the back of her head, consistent with being forced to lay down for long periods of time.
A trial date has not yet been scheduled.