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Woman sentenced to prison in Fall River after injuring, withholding food, from toddler in Bristol County motel



A 37-year-old woman was sentenced to state prison earlier this month after being convicted of causing serious bodily injury to her child while staying at a motel in 2018, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Jobe Robinson, with former addresses in Pawtucket and Providence, pled guilty in Fall River Superior Court on March 3 to indictments charging her with Assault and Battery on a Child-Causing Serious Bodily Injury, Permitting Injury to a Child, Reckless Endangerment of a Child and Assault and Battery.

On January 8, 2019, Warwick, RI Police responded to a motel to assist in the removal of overstaying guests. When police arrived, they found three children, ranging in age from 16 months old to 14 years old, alone in the motel room. It was later learned the parents, one of whom is Robinson, were at a methadone clinic and got into a physical fight which caused a car crash while returning to the motel. Officials in Rhode Island took custody of the children.

The youngest child was then taken to Rhode Island Hospital and found to have injuries to the skin and underlying tissue of his leg, a deformity on his thigh and three broken bones. The toddler’s weight was also extremely low for his age. The injuries were determined by doctors to be two to three weeks old. Doctors also stated the injuries could not have occurred during normal care and could not have been caused by falling off a bed, as the defendant claimed.

When interviewed, the two older children told investigators that the toddler’s injuries occurred while the family was staying at the Ramada Inn in Seekonk in late 2018. The oldest child reported that Robinson would bend the toddler’s legs behind his head and then twist the legs on multiple occasions. It was also reported that Robinson would hold the toddler up and let him fall. She also withheld food from the toddler. The timing of the injuries was further confirmed by Seekonk Paramedics, who had been called to the Seekonk motel in late December 2018 because Robinson had fallen in the shower. When inside the motel room, the paramedics noticed the toddler’s legs were freshly bandaged. The underlying tissue injury to the toddler’s leg was later determined to be caused by the bandage being applied extremely tightly.

During a sentencing hearing before Judge Raffi Yessayan, Assistant District Attorney Lesly Leahy argued for an eight-to-10-year state prison sentence, to be followed by five years of supervised probation. The defense requested a two-and-a-half-year sentence to the house of corrections. Judge Yessayan sentenced the defendant to serve two to four years in state prison, to be followed by five years of supervised probation. She was also ordered to have no contact with the children unless authorized to do so by Rhode Island DCYF or Massachusetts DCF.

“It is extremely sad and disturbing that a mother would do this to a defenseless toddler who relied on the defendant for care and protection. My heart goes out to the child,” District Attorney Quinn said.

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