New charges for Hinsdale woman accused in infant assault; lesser charges for man


PITTSFIELD >> A woman accused in the severe beating of an infant is facing new charges in the case and a man involved has had one charge dropped and his bail reduced.

Bryce P. Ciepiela and Tonia L. O'Brien, both 18 and from Hinsdale, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to their respective charges in Berkshire Superior Court.

In January, both were arraigned in the lower court on charges of assault and battery on a child with substantial injury and reckless endangerment of a child and were ordered held on $25,000 each.

At Tuesday's hearing, Ciepiela's charge of assault and battery on a child charge was dropped and his bail was reduced to $10,000.

Prosecutors allege that Ciepiela knew of the injuries to the 2-month old boy, but did not report them.

O'Brien picked up two new charges as the investigation has proceeded; she now faces counts of misleading a police officer and assault and battery for allegedly attacking a 57-year-old woman in mid-December. She remains held on $25,000 bail.

The investigation began after emergency medical responders were dispatched on Dec. 31 for a report of a child having difficulty breathing.

The boy had extensive bruising of the face and body and was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield before being transported to another hospital and placed in the intensive care unit.

He suffered a subdural hematoma and severe head trauma and investigators determined the injuries were non-accidental.

Details of the allegations are not yet available due to records in the case being sealed.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo said the child is now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families, but she could not provide an update on his condition.

O'Brien and Ciepiela are due back in court on July 11 for pretrial hearings.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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