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October 11, 2011

Parents charged with child abuse of infants

DUNCAN — Two parents were charged with child abuse Tuesday in Stephens County District Court, after their 3-month-old twin boys were treated for injuries Friday at Duncan Regional Hospital.

Jason Lynn Ausmus, 30, of Duncan, was arrested Friday and booked into the Stephens County Jail. He is charged with two counts of felony child abuse, with bond being set at $500,000. His wife, Misty Leann Ausmus, 30, was also arrested at the same time. She was charged with two counts of enabling child abuse, with bond set at $250,000.

Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks said Stephens County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Chad Powell was called to the hospital to determine whether an investigation into a child abuse matter was warranted.

“Upon arrival, Investigator Powell was advised that the three-month-old boys both had broken ribs, along with other injuries consistent with abuse,” Hicks said. “Investigator Powell completed his investigation, arrested the subjects and presented the matter to my office for prosecution.”

According to the affidavit, Jason Ausmus admitted he got frustrated with the babies when they were crying and he would hit them and choke them.

Misty Ausmus admitted to seeing her husband hit one of the babies once and asked him not to do that.

The affidavit noted that the doctor treating the infants discovered bruises, with one child having bruising on chest and face, and both children had marks their necks. One of the babies also had broken ribs determined to be at least a week old.

“It disturbs me to see any child physically abused, but when the child is merely an infant, it takes it to a whole new level,” Hicks said.

“At this time, we intend to prosecute these matters to the fullest extent of the law. The Stephens County Sheriff's Office and the Child Welfare Division of the Department of Human Services did an outstanding job to ensure the safety of the involved children.”

Sheriff Wayne McKinney went with Powell and another deputy to the hospital.

“Any child abuse is appalling, but when it involves three-month-old babies, it’s horrific. We respond to these (child abuse cases) more than we would like to but somebody has to serve as the protector for these children. I have to give kudos to DHS for the way they handled this also,” McKinney said.

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