SOUTHINGTON - A local woman facing charges after her young child sustained suspected abusive injuries will be prosecuted, a judge ruled Thursday.
Brittany DeMasi, 27, was denied a supervised diversionary program during her hearing in Bristol Superior Court. She is facing one count of risk of injury to a minor, but that charge could have been dropped had she been granted the program and completed psychiatric treatment successfully.
During the hearing, both the prosecutor, Ronald Dearstyne, and the guardian ad litem, Berlin-based attorney Jill Levin, objected to the granting of the program. A guardian ad litem is typically tasked with making sure the victim’s best interests are met in a case’s disposition when the complainant is a minor.
According to police, investigators were first made aware of the case in January 2016 by the state’s Department of Children and Families.
Police said DeMasi’s 11-month-old daughter had been taken to the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Bradley Memorial Campus for numerous injuries to her head and face. The injuries raised the suspicion of abuse, police said.
Police found that the girl had been in DeMasi’s care when she was injured and that the mother could not explain how the injuries had happened.
Levin noted on Thursday that, while DeMasi would likely benefit from psychiatric treatment, nothing could compensate for what the young girl had to go through. The girl was in foster care for 11 months before her father was granted custody again.
“She can never get that time back,” Levin said.
Dearstyne said he believes DeMasi should not be convicted of a felony, but she should also not avoid prosecution altogether - something the program would have allowed her to do.
“This is too serious,” said Judge Richard Dyer, when making his ruling on the program. “I can’t do it.”
One element of the case Dyer said he struggled with was that it has never been made clear how the child sustained her injuries.
“I still don’t know,” the judge said. “I may never know.”
DeMasi pleaded not guilty after Dyer made his decision, and she was granted a continuance until May 25.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.