Doctors found the baby girl had suffered a stomach-churning 35 broken bones from her ribs to her hands, with Rice eventually confessing to committing the deed out of sheer frustration.
Over 6.6 million children are the victim of abuse every year in the United States, so whenever cases to do pop up around the country, there is a tendency for it to become nothing more than a number.
A gruesome statistic.
However, there are scenarios where a case captures national attention and that of 26-year-old foster parent Kyle Rice fits the tragic bill.
Doctors who were examining Rice’s 2-month-old daughter did not expect to discover that she had been the victim of some horrific abuse. They found that the baby girl had suffered a stomach-churning 35 broken bones from her ribs to her hands, with Rice eventually confessing to committing the deed out of sheer frustration.
Hailing from Indianapolis, he was arrested by the authorities and charged with neglect and battery, but court records show that the 26-year-old has posted bail and is no longer behind bars at the Marion County Jail.
However, his trial, which is scheduled for April, might result in a harsher penalty. It is also unclear whether he has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
There have been two counts leveled against Rice. The first is for battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14-years-old, a level three felony.
The second is neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, also a level three felony. According to Emerson Law, each count could carry a possible sentence of between three and sixteen years, with a median sentence of 9 years usually given. The counts could also mean that Rice may face a fine of up to $10,000.
The abuse may have never come to light were it not for the eagle-eye of Rice’s mother, who noticed a suspicious mark on her granddaughter’s leg and told her daughter-in-law, Rice’s wife. His wife then took the baby to a doctor’s office before taking her to the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health on January 31.
The doctors at the hospital realized that there was something wrong with the two-month-old and an X-ray of the toddler showed that she had sustained broken bones and injuries throughout her body, including her hands, legs, feet, and upper and lower back.
Rice’s wife told those investigating the case that she was unaware of her husband’s fit of rage that resulted in the injuries. She said that she worked full-time while her husband stayed at home with the kids and that they had been foster parents for quite some time. The couple is said to have adopted three children.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by People, the prematurely-born baby girl had been placed in the care of Rice and his wife only weeks before Rice’s arrest. She was taken away from her birth mother after blood test results showed the presence of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, in the baby.
According to court documents, Rice admitted to abusing his daughter when he was home one day and he got frustrated with her.
The documents stated: “He tried to give her a bottle, but she was spitting it out. He then changed her diaper and she pooped while he was changing it. He held her, but she continued to cry and wouldn’t calm down.”
He also reportedly confessed to investigators that he had squeezed his daughter really hard, bent her legs backward, grabbed her hands and feet and then proceeded to squeeze them with both hands, resulting in the broken bones across her body.
Talking to WWLP about the shocking incident, Sharon Pierce, the president and CEO of The Village, which is reportedly Indiana’s largest non-profit and family services agency, said: “It’s certainly very tragic. I think for those of us who work in the child welfare system it’s ‘what can we learn to prevent this from ever happening again?'” adding that children who were five-years-old and under were at the greatest risk of abuse and neglect.
That viewpoint is backed up by childhelp.org, which reports that of the 1,580 children who died as a result of abuse and neglect in the United States in 2014, more than 70% were two-years-old or even younger. In fact, more than 80% of these victims were said to be not even old enough to go to kindergarten.
Further statistics make for an equally grim reading. The organization reports that between four and seven children are subjected to abuse every day, with a child abuse reported every 10 seconds. The number of child victims of maltreatment – amount to over 700,000 each year – could fill 10 modern football stadiums.
The U.S has one of the worst child protection records amongst industrialized nations, and often, the long-term health effects of such abuse go criminally understated. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals who reported six or more adverse childhood experiences had an average life expectancy two decades shorter than those who reported none.
Furthermore, as many as two-thirds of people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. 14% of all men in prison were abused as children, with that number as high as 36% for women in incarceration. Children who experience abuse and neglect are also said to be nine times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
Twitter did not take too kindly to reports of the incident, with many calling for Rice’s head:
— April Michelle (@AprilApril14333) 12 February 2018
Jesus Christ!!! It is just incomprehensible! I hope this guy gets punished..severely.
— AmandaB (@hmanager1417) 13 February 2018
Bring back the Death Penalty!!! No appeals. The law in this country is a JOKE
— Linda FLAgurl (@jakuboski_linda) 13 February 2018
Somebody should brake every bone in his body with a claw hammer 🔨. That poor child..
— Scott.j (@Johnsco26136692) 12 February 2018
He is a monster
— Pat (@pathinwisc) 13 February 2018
They had “even adopted 3 children”. The system fails again, by design.
— KATE (@starbroken1980) 10 February 2018
That’s why baby snatchers all belong behind bars including the government helping them do it. They are all criminals!
— killed queenie (@queenbellaIam) 11 February 2018
Oh, I want to find him and give him 206 broken bones.
— 🎩MR,PINCER&FRIENDS🎩 (@MRPINCER) 10 February 2018