A 15-month-old girl was on life support Monday at a Rockford hospital while the child’s mother’s boyfriend was held at the Rock County Jail.
The boyfriend, Steven M. Horan, 30, of Janesville, was arrested on a charge of physical abuse to a child, causing great bodily harm, but it’s possible the formal charge will be even more serious.
The child is brain dead, and doctors delayed shutting off life support after the child’s father asked for more time with the child and for a second opinion, Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said at Horan’s initial appearance in Rock County Court on Monday afternoon.
The writing of a criminal complaint was delayed pending police investigation, so Sullivan was said he would not object allowing Horan to be released from jail on a signature bond, but during the hearing, Sullivan received a note telling him that Judge John Wood had set a $10,000 cash bond over the weekend.
Court Commissioner Jack Hoag said he would not overrule Wood and allowed the bond to remain.
Sullivan said police believe Horan was drinking at the time the injuries were inflicted.
Hoag ordered Horan to maintain absolute sobriety and have no contact with the mother or any child under age 18.
Horan has two children of his own, but he is barred from seeing them under a Child Protective Services order imposed after his arrest, Sullivan said.
Janesville police officers responded to the home in the 500 block of Eisenhower Avenue at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and found the child, who was not breathing; the child’s mother, who was administering CPR; and Horan, according to a police news release.
“The child was transported to Mercy Hospital with life-threatening injuries,” the release states.
Sullivan said the child suffered blunt-force trauma.
The boyfriend was watching the child while the mother was out, and when she returned, she found the child seriously injured, according to the release.
The child was transferred to Javon Bea Hospital in Rockford, Illinois, where she remained Monday, Sullivan said.
Lt. Charles Aagaard of the police investigations bureau said Horan did not admit to causing the injuries.
Aagaard said police are working with doctors to determine precisely what kind of injuries the baby suffered.
Aagaard said circumstances leading up to the injuries were undetermined as of Monday afternoon and still being investigated.
Horan is scheduled to next appear in court Monday, March 16.
This story was modified March 10, 2020, to reflect the below correction:
Because of a reporter's misinterpretation of a statement by an assistant district attorney in court Monday, The Gazette incorrectly reported the status of a Child Protective Services order against Steven M. Horan, 30, of Janesville on Page 1A on Tuesday.
The order for Horan not to have contact with his biological children was imposed after he was arrested Saturday and accused of causing serious injuries to a child who later died, Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said.