W.VA. Father Admits to Injuring His Newborn Child


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Ian Kessinger was set to go on trial Thursday. However, just before testimony got underway Kessinger pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse resulting in injury and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.

Posted: 11:21 AM Jul 21, 2011

Reporter: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter, Jeremy Edwards

Email Address: brooks.jarosz@wsaz.com

Father Pleads Guilty
Severe Abuse
Mother of Abused Child Speaks Out

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A father accused of beating his baby boy has admitted to the crime.

Ian Kessinger was set to go on trial Thursday. However, just before testimony got underway Kessinger pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse resulting in injury and child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.

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Police say Kessinger shook the baby and jerked him out of bed for crying.

During the hearing, Kessinger described to the judge how he hurt his baby.

"I had him on his back and had a hold of his arm, pulled him up hard," Kessinger said. "I was high on drugs at the time and I just lost it."

Kessinger was arrested in February after his 6-week-old son was taken to the hospital with several broken bones.

Back in April, Kessinger pleaded not guilty to the charges, despite telling us, shortly after he was arrested that the abuse was the result of drugs and alcohol.

"I never in a million years thought he would hurt Ben the way he did or even just raise a hand to him in anger at all," Ben's mother, Emily Sayre said. "I feel betrayed, I feel let down, I feel hurt, but most of all I feel angry for what he did to my son."

Emily tells WSAZ.com her baby boy is doing much better.

"It was really hard to see Ben you know just so small in a big bed, hooked up by wires and machines, but God got him through it. God got my family through this and God continues to get us through it," Sayre said.

According to Ben's mother, he goes through therapy and is making progress. She says it's scary though, since it's hard to know whether or not Ben will have any long term effects from his injuries.

Kessinger faces up to 15 years in prison. His sentencing date is set for late August.

UPDATE 2/10/2011 @ 6 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A newborn baby, severely abused and police say it happened at the hands of his father. It's a case of broken trust for the baby and his mom.

Emily Sayre, of Nitro, said she had no idea that her boyfriend was hurting their 6-week old son Ben. Investigators with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office also say they don't believe anyone knew the abuse was happening. But yet, Sayre still blames herself.

"Right now I'm just so numb," Sayre said. "I feel so stupid for being so trusting of someone and I feel like my son is paying for my stupidity."

Sayre said she's been on the receiving end of abuse doled out by her boyfriend Ian Kessinger but she says she never though he would hurt their kids.

"I never saw him with bruises, I never saw Ben act like he was hurt," Sayre said.

But a doctor's visit reveled Ben had a broken collar bone, broken bones in his wrist and a skull fracture which caused pressure and bleeding on his brain.

"His (Kessinger's) stories about how it happened they just kept changing and changing and changing," Sayre said. "I looked at him finally and I said, 'Look, either you did this or I did this and I know it wasn't me so what did you do to our child?'"

Kessinger told WSAZ.com he abused the baby on three different occassions. Police say the abuse happened over time and resulted from Kessinger shaking and jerking the baby out of bed for crying.

"He's spitting his binkie out yesterday and usually you want to calm them down, but I wanted him to cry, I didn't want him to think there is anything wrong with crying, because there is not," Leslee Knapp says.

Knapp is Sayre's sister, and she said he warned her sister to get out of the relationship because she feared something terrible would happen.

"You want to be wrong, in that situation," Knapp said. "You want to be wrong, you do not want this to happen."

Sayre said she had a c-section when Ben was born so Kessinger would often get up late at night with Ben. Sayre works for the state and says Kessinger doesn't have a job.

"I'm a smart person I know better to tolerate what I did tolerate," Sayre said. "But you just get wrapped up in their lies and you want to believe."

But now that her baby is in the hospital, Sayre has a message.

"Get out before something like this happens," Sayre said.

Kessinger blamed the abuse on a drug addiction but Sayre said that's a lie and that he was trying to drum up sympathy.

Ben had brain surgery Thursday afternoon to relieve pressure and bleeding, his family said the surgery went very well and that he is now recovering.

Sayre said she is thankful for everyone's thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE 2/9/2011 @ 6 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A father's confession has landed him in jail and his newborn son in the hospital fighting for his life. Police say the baby was abused over time and suffered severe injuries.

Ian Kessinger, 30, of Nitro, turned himself into police on Wednesday. He told WSAZ.com he blames the abuse on his drug addiction.

"I'm so sorry, buddy, and it's going to take me a long time to get my life back on track, but I'm going to get straight and I'll make it up to him." Kessinger says. "If I could take it back, I'd take it back in a heartbeat. It's not me; it's not what I do."

Kessinger repeatedly apologized but police say his actions speak louder than words. They say the baby suffered repeated abuse that left him in serious condition. The baby was born just before Christmas and is 6-weeks-old.

"This family received a wonderful Christmas present," Lt. Sean Crosier with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department says. "But yet that wonderful present has been seriously injured."

According to police, the baby was taken for a checkup, and the doctor noticed his head was swollen. Additional tests were ordered, and it was discovered Monday that the baby had a skull fracture, a broken collar bone and broken bones in his wrist.

Kessinger has three other children; a 2-year-old daughter lives with him. Police say they don't believe he ever abused those children.

"My addiction was worse, times are stressful, I got frustrated a couple of times," Kessinger admitted. "It was three different occasions that I can remember."

Police say Kessinger admitted to shaking the baby for crying and jerking him out of his baby bed.

Kessinger blamed the abuse on drugs, saying he does painkillers, cocaine, marijuana and "anything I could get my hands on."

He has been charged with child abuse resulting in injury. Police say the investigation is ongoing, but they do not believe anyone else knew that the abuse was happening.

The baby remains in serious condition in the hospital.

UPDATE 2/9/2011 @ 1 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A father in Kanawha County has turned himself in on charges he caused serious injuries to his 6-week old son.

Police say they were called to CAMC Women's and Children's Hospital in Charleston on Tuesday after the infant was brought in for some tests.

The baby had a left skull fracture, broken collar bone and broken bones in his left wrist.

The boy's father Ian Kessinger was questioned by police and according to the criminal complaint, Kessinger told them he became angry with the child and lost his temper. He admitted to shaking him, because he wouldn't stop crying or eat and he jerked the boy out of his bed without supporting the child's neck.

Kessinger told WSAZ.com he was sorry for what he did and says he abused the baby on three different days. He blamed his drug addiction for his actions.

Kessinger was arrested Wednesday morning and arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. Kessinger if from Nitro and is 30 years old.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A father from Kanawha County is facing charges after he allegedly caused serious injuries to his one month old boy .

Ian Kessinger, 30, was arrested Wednesday morning.

Deputies say his child received internal and external injuries from abuse that appears to have been happening for awhile.

The boy is still at CAMC Women's and Children's Hospital.

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