RIPLEY, W.Va. — A 9-month-old baby has been declared brain dead after she was allegedly raped by a 32-year-old man in West Virginia, Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies told West Virginia Metro News Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies say this incident was the worst sexual assault case in the county’s history.
Benjamin Taylor, 32, was found Monday morning with the child in the basement of an apartment he shared with his girlfriend, who is the mother of the baby.
Taylor told deputies he took the baby to the basement while doing laundry. He said he “blacked out” and didn’t know how the baby’s injuries occurred.
According to a criminal complaint, the baby had extensive bleeding and a body temperature of 90 degrees. The complaint says the injuries indicated a violent sexual assault, as well as shaking or striking of the face.
Family members tell West Virginia Metro News that the baby was clinically brain dead with no hope of waking up. Authorities confirmed later Wednesday night that the baby died.
Taylor will now face a murder charge on top of the first-degree sexual assault. Authorities say Taylor had a criminal record, but a motive was not yet known.
The investigation is ongoing.
Taylor is in jail under a $2 million bond.