Felony charges expected after alleged babysitter abuse goes viral

A babysitter faces three felony charges for the alleged abuse of a 1-year-old Oregon boy he was babysitting in March.

According to The Oregonian, Markell Deon Hilaire turned himself in Friday following a grand jury indictment. He faces charges of third- and fourth-degree assault and criminal mistreatment.

Hilaire pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday afternoon.

In March, the boy's parents, Joshua Marbury and Alicia Quinney, returned from a date to find their son crying on the floor and Hilaire asleep on the couch.

"The next morning it was 8:30, and that's when he woke up, and that's when I saw Jacob. The first thing I saw was a black eye," Quinney told KATU.

Doctors performed various tests on the boy, and his parents filed a police report. KPTV reported the babysitter was questioned by law enforcement but not arrested.

The case gained national attention when Joshua Marbury reached out on social media about the incident and how, at the time, an Oregon court ruling was blocking Hilaire from facing charges.

I normally keep my matters with family very private cause i dont need the attention. But this is different. TWO months...

Posted by Joshua Marbury on Friday, May 20, 2016

According to The Oregonian, prosecutors say a 2012 court ruling complicates how abuse cases are handled. When victims can't speak, lawyers are left to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant caused "substantial pain and serious physical injury." 

2009 conviction of an Oregon babysitter was overturned by a panel of judges in 2012 because the 16-month-old child who was allegedly abused could not explain that he felt "substantial pain." The judges ruled injuries such as bruises and minor cuts weren't enough evidence.

Read more here.