(SALEM, IL) — A 16-year-old Salem male charged as an adult in Marion County Court with sexually assaulting an infant child pleaded not guilty Monday to the charge against him and demanded a speedy trial. Justin Atteberry is charged with Class X felony aggravated criminal sexual assault resulting in bodily harm for an alleged incident at his mother’s at-home daycare in December. Atteberry’s alleged victim was one of his mother’s clients. After the mother of the baby picked her up from Ms. Lyd’s Kids daycare, she took her home and when changing her discovered blood in the baby’s diaper. She took the child to the hospital in Salem and a cursory examination revealed obvious injuries to the baby and the child was then taken to Children’s Hospital, where severe anal tearing and bruising was confirmed. The Department of Children and Family Services was notified, as was the Salem Police Department, and an investigation pointed to Atteberry, who reportedly admitted during a videotaped interview to performing acts on the baby using a Matchbox type car that resulted in the injuries noted at the hospitals. State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach says that although Atteberry is a juvenile, he must be charged as an adult based upon the Juvenile Court Act requirements, and because of the Act, he is not entitled to privacy rights afforded juveniles. While the Act prohibits him from being housed with adults a provision of his arraignment prohibits him from having contact with individuals under the age of 18, so a compromise was reached in that he will be housed in a medical isolation cell at the Marion County Jail. DCFS immediately pulled the license for the daycare and it was quickly shut down. Atteberry remains in the Marion County Jail, with bail set at $250,000. Atteberry is next scheduled to appear in court January 13, with his recently retained private attorney.

Leave a Reply