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$1 million bail stands in Nashua infant's assault

Union Leader Correspondent

January 23. 2014 8:27PM


NASHUA — A Massachusetts man accused of severely assaulting an infant last month will remain behind bars after a local judge refused to lower his bail.

Enrique Santiago Jr., 20, of Lawrence, Mass., has been held on $1 million cash only bail since his arrest this month. Police allege that Santiago repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend's son on several occasions when he shook, squeezed and struck the baby, now 3-months-old, in the head with an electronic tablet.

Santiago's attorney, Anthony Sculimbrene, asked Judge Thomas Bamberger of the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, to reduce his client's bail to personal recognizance bail or $49,000 cash only during a hearing last week.

According to court documents, Bamberger kept Santiago's bail at $1 million cash only, and Santiago was taken to the Valley Street Jail.

Santiago has been charged with 12 counts of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault for repeatedly attacking the baby boy, who is expected to survive but could have lasting disabilities, according to police.

The baby, who was 10-weeks-old when he was injured, remains hospitalized.

Santiago waived a preliminary examination and probable cause hearing, and has been ordered to have no contact with the baby or his family.

The baby's mother, Maria Tata, 25, of 43 Arlington St., Apt. B, left her child in the care of Santiago when she went to work the day after Christmas. She took him to the hospital later that day after returning home, where it was discovered that the child had numerous fractures, head trauma, brain hemorrhaging and multiple seizures, police said.

"Mr. Santiago made admissions to becoming frustrated that (the baby) wouldn't stop crying and picked up the pillow, which he knew had his tablet inside the pillowcase. Mr. Santiago stated that he purposely swung the pillow in (the baby's) direction with the intention of striking him in the torso or lower body area to startle the infant with hopes that he would stop crying," according to court records.

After Santiago hit the boy in the head with the tablet, the baby continued crying, Santiago told police, adding he then picked up the baby to rock him, at which time the infant "slipped out of his arms," according to a police affidavit.

Sculimbrene said previously that his client has no criminal history.

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