lady justice blindfolded holding scales of justice

Jury selection began Monday for the trial of a Coachella man suspected of beating his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter, leaving her in critical condition.

Adan Diaz Orozco, 30, is charged with child cruelty with a great bodily injury sentence enhancement. He was arrested after his girlfriend’s daughter was hospitalized in April 2011 with injuries consistent with child abuse, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Torrenti.

The girl, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, was brought to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio with injuries that included “active bleeding upon her brain, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, a mark by her right nipple area, a burn mark on her left wrist, and bruise marks on her back, thighs and arms,” according to a prosecutor’s trial brief.

Torrenti said deputies were called to the hospital by workers who suspected child abuse.

She was later airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Orozco initially told deputies that his brother was babysitting the girl on April 9, 2011, but later changed his story, prosecutors allege, to say that he spanked the girl for misbehaving and then later accidentally struck Jane Doe when she was standing behind him, causing her head to strike a wooden chair.

Duct tape was allegedly found in the home with the girl’s hair on it, but Orozco said the tape was only used to pick up hair and other items off of the ground.

Jane Doe’s mother left for work around 4 p.m. that day and a neighbor “heard the baby crying and screaming for approximately 30 minutes,” the brief states.

The neighbor questioned Orozco, who said the mother was giving the girl a bath and that she was OK, according to the brief.

Orozco called his girlfriend around 9 p.m., stating that Jane Doe “was unresponsive and not breathing,” leading to the hospitalization.

Orozco’s brother was interviewed by deputies, and said he was not at the home on April 9, 2011, but was asked by Orozco to claim he was if the police asked.

–City News Service

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