Man faces judge in infant abuse, rape case

Updated: 02/09/2014 6:18 PM | Created: 02/09/2014 5:55 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A 19-year-old Albuquerque man accused of sexually abusing an infant child faced a judge for the first time on Sunday.

Elijah Fernandez is charged with child abuse resulting in great bodily harm and aggravated criminal sexual penetration.

Fernandez remained silent during his time in front of the judge.

Through prosecutor’s statements, we learned Fernandez has worked as a caretaker in Albuquerque for the last month and a half.

However, it was not specifically mentioned what sort of caretaker Fernandez was.

He is charged with abusing and sexually assaulting a four-month-old baby girl.

Her injuries are so traumatic that she is on life support.

“Calls always affect officers and the unsung heroes of this department are the Crimes Against Children Unit,” Albuquerque Police Department Officer Simon Drobik said. “They see this all the time, day in and day out and they're the detectives that do the investigations. It's hard on officers.”

Even as the agency faces tough criticism from other high profile cases, CYFD says they have dealt with the mother, a four-month-old and a 2-year-old in the apartment before.

The first incident was when the baby was born.

Doctors found traces of marijuana in her system.

The second time was when the mother was unable to breastfeed because of prescription medication she was on.

The third time was when the mother canceled a follow up appointment for the baby.

But law enforcement says this is the first time they have encountered Elijah Fernandez in connection with this child.

Fernandez is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.

A source close to the investigation tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 that the family of the baby girl is trying to decide whether to take her off life support.

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