Man charged with child abuse

EVANSTON — A 20-year-old Evanston man pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated child abuse in Third District Court on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 30. Harry Townsend was arraigned on the charge related to abusive injuries to a 2-year-old child, whose mother was involved in a relationship with Townsend. 

The charges state that on Oct. 11, Townsend took the child to Evanston Regional Hospital for evaluation of injuries he claimed the child sustained when the young boy was dropped from his crib. Townsend was babysitting the child while his mother was attending a class. 

Pediatrician Dr. Bird Gilmartin examined the child and observed multiple injuries indicative of physical abuse, including recent and healing fractures, bruising and abnormal laboratory results concerning for abdominal injuries. The child was subsequently taken to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. 

Townsend allegedly later told investigators he had downplayed the incident and said he had angrily tossed the child down and picked him up. Townsend also allegedly told investigators it was not the first time he had injured the boy in anger. 

Following Townsend’s not guilty plea, Judge Joseph Bluemel ordered a pre-sentence investigation and substance abuse assessment and scheduled a trial to begin on Feb. 5, 2019. If found guilty, Townsend faces a maximum of 25 years behind bars, a $10,000 fine or both. Townsend remains in custody in the Uinta County Detention Center. 

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