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Couple arrested in severe child abuse case

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9 2008 4:40 p.m. MST

Salt Lake County investigators are calling it one of the worst cases of child abuse they've ever seen.

"In my 31 years with the sheriff's office ... I rate this in the top five worst (child abuse) cases," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak, who used to work in the family crimes unit. "Detectives who were looking at the injuries of this child were sickened."

A 2-year-old girl was brought by her mother to St. Mark's Hospital about 1 a.m. Tuesday with severe injuries.

"The medical staff immediately recognized some real problems," he said.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy, who also happens to investigate child abuse cases, was also working a part-time security job at the hospital that night. The infant was immediately taken to Primary Children's Medical Center.

The little girl's eyes were swollen shut and remained that way through Wednesday evening. She had numerous cuts all over her body including what looked like an apparent knife wound near her temple, Jaroscak said. Teeth were also missing from the child.

"I saw still pictures (of the child), it infuriated me. This is not just a few cuts on the top of the hand. Her hand looked like it went through a weed-wacker ... just chopped up. Her face and hands weren't much better," he said.

A report from the Salt Lake County Jail added that the victim had "bruises on her face and back. Her hands have numerous wounds that appear to be cuts."

While questioning the girl's mother, she "changed her story at least five times as to how the injuries occurred," according to a jail statement. After her interview, Amy Roberts, 30, was booked for investigation of child abuse and obstruction of justice.

Investigators went to Roberts' condo near 800 East and 3950 South to question her boyfriend. After questioning him, and serving a search warrant at the residence, where additional undisclosed evidence was collected, Derrick Lee Crispin, 29, was arrested for investigation of two counts of second degree felony child abuse. He was being held Wednesday on no bail.

Roberts also had a 9-year-old boy at the condo. He showed no obvious signs of injury but was taken into protective custody.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

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