A few months ago, Joshua Marbury and Alicia Quinney of Sherwood, Oregon planned a much-needed date night and booked a trusted family friend to babysit their 1-year-old son, Jacob. When they returned home, they found the babysitter asleep on the couch and their baby crying on the floor.
The next morning, they discovered that Jacob was covered in bruises and took him to the hospital. The doctors identified a clear handprint on his face, and social workers documented the case with photographs. The babysitter later admitted to the offense.
Despite what seems to be an overwhelming amount of evidence, a Washington County District attorney points to a state statute that makes it difficult to prosecute when a victim or witness cannot verbally describe the substantial pain and serious physical injury inflicted. A statement is necessary to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
That's when Marbury took the case to Facebook, where the post received hundreds of thousands of likes and national attention. A petition was started on Change.org to review the case and bring justice to baby Jacob.
Barbara Peschiera, Executive Director at the Children's Center, a local advocacy group, voiced on local news, "It's hard to believe, it really is, because you and I would look at those injuries and say, 'that was abuse.'"
This is 1-year-old Jacob, a beautiful and healthy baby boy.
Here he is covered in bruises. He was struck by his babysitter, an unnamed person described as a family friend.
The bruises were evaluated by doctors and documented by social workers. This was no accident. There was a clear handprint on his face.
However, current Oregon state law stands as a barrier between this family and justice.
Under this law, bruises aren't enough to file charges. The victim must be able to speak on his substantial pain beyond reasonable doubt, but how could he?
The babysitter will not be prosecuted.
Jacob's father posted about the case on Facebook, and it has since gone viral. A petition was created in hopes to reverse the law in question.
If you'd like to see justice for Jacob, click here to sign the petition today.