Tahlequah Daily Press

May 4, 2012

Affidavit reveals injuries to child

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — An affidavit filed in a felony child-abuse case details more injuries allegedly inflicted upon a 13-month-old boy by his mother.

Jodi Leann Rock, 19, is behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center for burning her infant son with a flat iron. She was arrested last week and held on a $200,000 bond. The child was placed into custody of the Department of Human Services after being taken to a Tulsa hospital.

An investigator’s affidavit detailing the case shows the baby also had multiple fractures, and an “obvious deformity” to his shoulders. Doctors told investigators one of the baby’s shoulder injuries had occurred eight to 12 hours before he was seen at a Tahlequah hospital. Another shoulder injury appeared to be about 12 weeks old, and forearm and wrist fractures had occurred in the past few months.

The newest shoulder injury, doctors said, had a couple of breaks. The baby appeared to be “glassy eyed,” “withdrawn” and in “agony” at the hospital, police said.

Rock told investigators numerous stories when being interviewed, and tried to blame family members and then her boyfriend, according to police. At one point, she admitted she’d only blamed family members to protect her boyfriend.

She also lied to police about who her boyfriend was, giving them a fake name and telling them she didn’t know where he lived, police said. Investigators said DHS employees later learned Rock was living with her boyfriend.

Rock eventually confessed she had been using a hot flat iron to straighten her hair when she closed the hot iron on the baby’s genitals, investigators said. Deputies investigating the injuries said the boy had suffered burns to the groin area and his thighs.

Rock also told investigators the infant’s fractures may have been a result of “rough” playing, including when the boy would be thrown into the air and onto a bed, according to court documents.

Formal charges have not been filed against Rock.

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