North Adams woman accused of assaulting infant daughter


PITTSFIELD — A North Adams woman is facing assault charges for allegedly beating her 11-month-old daughter so severely that she needed to be hospitalized.

Samantha McVinney, 20, of Walnut Street, called 911 shortly before midnight Wednesday to report injuries to the girl, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero.

After examining the child, emergency responders determined the injuries to be the result of "non-accidental trauma" and contacted the police.

Those injuries included bruising and scrapes on the right shoulder, a swollen nose, bleeding from both nostrils, a swollen left cheek, a bruised left eye and a swollen lip.

McVinney also gave inconsistent statements about how the girl received those injuries, police said. She gave "implausible explanations" and omitted parts of her account to medical professionals involved in the child's treatment.

She first told police she dropped the child once onto the railing of her crib, then said she dropped the child twice in the same manner, both times as a result of being dizzy.

She then told police she slapped the child three times and pushed her once, but later recanted her statements regarding the slapping only.

The child was transported to the Northern Berkshire Campus of Berkshire Medical Center, but later was transferred to the pediatric emergency department at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, where she remains in stable condition.

The Department of Children and Families has taken custody of the child.

McVinney pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday to charges of assault and battery on a child causing bodily injury and domestic assault and battery.

Tesoniero asked Judge Michael Ripps to set bail at $10,000, noting the seriousness of the charges and the potential penalties, the strong likelihood the case will be transferred in to Superior Court, and her lack of ties to the area.

Attorney Joanna Arkema suggested releasing McVinney on her own recognizance, claiming she has family and friends in the area. She cited McVinney's lack of any criminal record and assured Ripps she would return to court to face the charges, which she denies.

Ripps set bail at $1,500, but said the state could revisit that if there's a change in the child's condition that would warrant it.

McVinney is due back in court on March 25 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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