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Parents arrested on battery charges

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FORTVILLE — A judge has forbidden a local mother and her boyfriend to have contact with their 1-month-old daughter after the child came to the hospital with serious injuries the couple could not explain.

Aletha Miles, 32; and her boyfriend, Cullen Brown, 32, both of Fortville, were arrested Friday afternoon based on a medical exam that revealed their daughter had suffered several suspicious injuries. Those included two fractures to her left leg, a broken wrist and bruising to her neck and cheeks, according to court documents.

The couple, who had brought the baby to the doctor for a 1-month checkup, told police there had been no accidents that would have caused the severe injuries doctors found during their daughter’s exam.

Both said the baby had been slightly injured a week earlier when the family’s 40-pound dog leaped onto the couch where the baby was sleeping, awakening her and causing her to cry, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Cullen also said his daughter could have sustained an injury while he was running home from the grocery with her because it started to rain on his walk back, but he was not sure if she’d been hurt.

Neither of those incidents could have caused the injuries the girl sustained, and no medical diagnosis to provide another explanation for her condition was found, court documents state.

Charging documents cite reports from doctors who declared the injuries “were consistent with flaying of limbs or forcefully pulling on them.”

Miles told police she is the baby’s primary caregiver.

The pair is charged with three felony counts of battery resulting in serious bodily injury and one felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.

All charges are Class B felonies carrying a penalty range of six to 20 years and $10,000 in fines.

Miles bonded out of the Hancock County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond Monday after appearing in Hancock Circuit Court. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A call to Miles’ Fortville home was not returned Monday.

Cullen, who also pleaded not guilty, remained in the Hancock County Jail on a $10,000 cash bond Tuesday.

Hancock Circuit Court Judge Richard Culver issued a no-contact order to both parents. The couple’s other daughter, who is 6, was also taken from her parents’ custody, police said Tuesday. It was unclear whether the children were with relatives or in foster care.

The couple return to court Aug. 16 for a hearing.

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