Wisconsin man accused of severely abusing toddler faces preliminary hearing

Posted at 9:32 PM, Feb 20, 2019

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Supporters of a toddler who sustained life-threatening injuries showed up to court as the man accused of abusing herappeared for his preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Jonathan Colon

Jonathan Colon, 25, of Sheboygan, faces three charges:

  • Child abuse, intentionally causing great bodily harm, repeater
  • Neglecting a child, consequence is great bodily harm, repeater
  • Possession of THC, second-plus offense, repeater

Prosecutors said Colon was caring for the child when she suffered life-threatening injuries.

The hearing was still going on as of 5 p.m. A detective was on the stand, describing portions of the incident.

Ahead of the hearing, Colon and his attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the "defective criminal complaint."

According to a criminal complaint, police responded to the Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center Feb. 8 after a drowning incident was reported in a bathtub at a home in Sheboygan. The victim, a 35-month-old child, was under Colon's supervision.

The child was taken to Children's Hospital via Flight for Life.

Investigators spoke with Colon, who said he drove his girlfriend to work Friday morning. He said he and the slept off and on afterwards. Colon said the girl was sweaty later that afternoon and that he told her she needed to take a bath before they could go to McDonald's.

Colon told investigators he filled the tub with water to the top of the drain spout and placed the girl inside. Then, he said, he went to his bedroom and was communicating with the girl's mother via Snapchat.

He said that he returned to the bathroom to help the girl use the bathroom. He then put the girl back in the tub and returned to the bedroom.

Colon said he returned to the bathroom and found the girl "with her nose in the water." He picked her up and "noticed that her stomach was very big and hard." Colon said the girl was barely breathing and the CPR attempt he made "didn't seem to be working," so he wrapped her in a blanket and drove to the hospital.

The complaint said Colon told investigators the girl had some injuries caused by his daughter, including a bruise on her cheek.

Jonathan Colon

At the hospital, prosecutors said Colon began making phone calls, telling people "police were harassing him and that he had done nothing wrong." He was heard telling someone "I'm not doing this anymore. She has to go to day care." He said she had not been going to day care "because she had bruising on her arms from other children in the home."

Colon was taken into custody, and a search warrant was executed at the home. Investigators found material that tested positive for THC, according to the complaint.

Children's Hospital officials said the girl suffered "multiple injuries," including an abdominal injury that was "severe and life-threatening." A doctor determined the injuries "were diagnostic for severe child physical abuse." The doctor also noted "there was no compelling evidence of drowning or information to support a near drowning."

The complaint said the child is expected to survive, but she "would likely have neurologic impairments as a direct result of the neglect and severe, life-threatening injuries."

Colon was previously convicted of possession of THC (second and subsequent offense) in September 2018. He also has misdemeanor convictions dating back to 2015.