Man charged in Portage Co. child abuse case pleads no contest

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) – A 27-year-old Amherst man accused of shaking or hitting a baby so hard that it caused bleeding in the brain, creating seizure-like symptoms, has been found guilty of reckless injury, according to online court records.

Matthew Huettl was found guilty by a Portage County judge Wednesday of reckless injury, according to records. A child abuse charge was dismissed but could be considered at sentencing on Feb. 5.

The Sept. 2016 incident involved a four-month-old baby boy.

The baby was taken to a hospital three times for suspected seizures before more testing revealed bleeding on the brain, indicating a likelihood of abuse, the criminal complaint said.

One doctor told investigators the baby had either been shaken or suffered a severe blow to the head, the complaint said.

Huettl is the live-in boyfriend of the baby’s mother and was alone with the child while the mother was in another room when the suspected incidents of abuse occurred, the complaint said.

In one incident, Huettl reported to the mother that the baby was bleeding near an ear after apparently scratching himself, the complaint said.

In the two other incidents, the mother said she was summoned to the baby and found him “screaming” and “crying hysterically” and doing things like vomiting or showing signs of a seizure, the complaint said.

Dr. Kristen Iniguez of the Child Advocacy Center in Marshfield told investigators the baby suffered “life-threatening” brain injuries that could cause developmental issues, the complaint said.

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