A Champlin woman has been convicted of third-degree assault for injuring her infant foster son in 2017.
A Hennepin County District Court jury found Melissa Sondrol, 40, guilty late last week, after a nine-day trial and a day and a half of deliberations, County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday.
The verdict addressed only one of the baby’s injuries, a broken femur. Sondrol was acquitted of a second count of third-degree assault with a past pattern of child abuse, which would have covered his other injuries, but convicting her of that would have required proving two separate prior abuse incidents.
However, the jury identified five aggravating factors in the case — that the victim was an infant, that Sondrol was a foster parent, that she was the primary caregiver, that she waited to seek medical attention for the boy and that when she did, she withheld information from the doctors and nurses.
Because of those findings, the judge may sentence Sondrol to a tougher penalty than the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend. She will be sentenced May 28.
According to the criminal complaint and the trial testimony, Sondrol brought the 7-week-old boy to the hospital on Oct. 5, 2017, claiming he was not moving his right leg normally. A new fracture of the right femur was discovered in X-rays. Those same X-rays also revealed older fractures in the right foot and left tibia, as well as 10 fractures of the baby’s ribs.
Sondrol said she noticed a problem with the right leg on Oct. 3, but only made a doctor’s appointment with the child’s pediatrician for two days later. The jury found that she knew she had hurt the child but delayed seeking medical care. She also did not tell police or doctors that she heard a “pop” or a “crack” sound from the child’s leg on Oct. 3 until after her two older children were interviewed and they mentioned overhearing her tell her husband.