Man accused of abuse of 6-month-old boy

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A Vancouver man accused of abusing his girlfriend’s 6-month-old son claims the boy’s 2-year-old sister accidentally injured him, according to court records.

Michael B. Willett, 37, appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first- and second-degree assault of a child stemming from months of alleged abuse.

Vancouver police were contacted Oct. 5 by Child Protective Services after the baby received treatment at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for suspicious injuries. The exam showed the boy had numerous healing rib fractures, left and right femur fractures, left and right tibia fractures and a traumatic injury to his spine along his neck, which caused an epidural hematoma resulting in some paralysis, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Willett lives with the boy’s mother and looks after the baby and his sisters, ages 2 and 7, while their mother works, the affidavit said.

The boy’s mother told police that she came home Aug. 26 and noticed a large bruise on the boy’s upper left thigh. Willett allegedly told her that the 2-year-old struck him with a kitchen spatula and had accidentally injured him in the past, according to court records.

About a month later, she noticed another large bruise and abrasion on the back of the boy’s head. Willett reportedly said that he accidentally smacked the baby against the strike plate of a door.

She estimated that she’s noticed injuries to the boy 10 to 15 times while he was in Willett’s care. Willett explained how some of the injuries occurred, she said, but not others, court records state.

Other family members noticed concerning marks and bruises on the boy over the course of several months and began documenting them with photos. They said the injuries began after Willett moved into the residence, according to court documents.

Willett’s bail was set at $200,000 on Friday. He will be arraigned Nov. 2.