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Massena man charged with assaulting baby

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MASSENA - A 28-year-old Watertown man, formerly of Massena, has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter in March.

Village police charged Daniel A. Frederick of 417 Washington St. with second-degree, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child Tuesday stemming from an incident that took place on March 16. The child reportedly had a burn mark on her right cheek and several other red marks on her chest, back, arms and legs. She was treated at Massena Memorial Hospital.

When village police picked up Frederick for questioning that night, he reportedly had three pills wrapped in Saran wrap in his pants pocket. Those pills were later identified as Clonazepam. Frederick turned himself in on the warrant Tuesday afternoon.

He was arraigned by Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $2,500 cash or bond.

Defense attorney David Haggard had urged the court to release Frederick under the supervision of the probation department. He noted his client had turned himself in on the warrant, recently completed a 30-day alcohol and substance abuse treatment program and is currently living in a halfway house run by CREDO in Jefferson County.

“I don’t believe he would be a flight risk,” he told the court. “He has been in the halfway house facility since May 22. The plan is he would immediately be returning to Watertown. We suggest the halfway house would be the best place for him right now.”

Frederick had reportedly been baby-sitting the child on March 16, and the injuries were discovered when he took the child to his girlfriend’s sister’s home that evening when he was driving to Potsdam to pick up the child’s mother, Kaitlin Murray.

Ms. Murray, in a statement she provided police, said Frederick had called her earlier that evening to tell her the toddler had fallen outside and had a weird-shaped bruise on her face.

The child’s grandmother, Karen A. Murray, said the child’s aunt had contacted her when she noticed the mark on the baby’s face, sending her a photo of the injury. She said she immediately went to the baby’s residence at 7 Paddock St. and discovered no one was home but there was broken glass on the counter and floor and the residence was in disarray. She said she then went to her other’s daughter’s house, where she located the toddler with her aunt.

She said she saw several bruises, a mark she suggested appeared to be a burn mark just blow the 13-month-old’s right ear and several red marks all over her body that she said appeared to be lash marks.

The elder Ms. Murray also told police the toddler had been treated for bruises to her neck two weeks earlier, the last time that Frederick had been the child’s sole caregiver.

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