RIPLEY, W.Va. - A man accused of sexually assaulting a 9-month-old baby is now charged with murder in the child’s death.
CBS affiliate WOWK reports that 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor was charged with first-degree murder after the girl died of her injuries at a hospital Wednesday. Taylor is the boyfriend of the victim’s mother, but isn’t the child’s father.
He was initially charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault.
A criminal complaint shows the baby, Emmaleigh Barringer, had extensive bleeding. The complaint says the injuries indicated a violent sexual assault, as well as shaking or striking of the face.
Taylor told deputies he took the baby to the basement of an apartment while doing laundry. He said he “blacked out” and didn’t know how the baby’s injuries occurred.
It’s unclear whether Taylor has an attorney.
The little girl’s family released a statement Thursday that read, in part: “We would like to assure anyone with any doubt that this crime against an innocent child was solely perpetrated by a monster who had disguised himself as a caring and supporting friend. Emmaleigh’s mother and surviving siblings were victims in this and are guilty only of placing trust in the hands of a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.’”