Woonsocket man pleads to physically abusing 5-month-old baby

Woonsocket man pleads to physically abusing 5-month-old baby

WOONSOCKET – A man arrested a year-and-a-half ago for alleged physical abuse of a five-month-old child pled nolo contendere to two counts of second degree child abuse in superior court on Monday, accepting a conviction without admitting guilt.

Kristofer Bernier, 27, of Woonsocket was arrested in March of 2017 after police and rescue responded to a call that a young child in his care had suffered facial injuries. While Bernier initially claimed the child fell off the couch, he later admitted he "lost it" when he could not stop the baby from crying and struck the child several times, dropping the child on the corner of the coffee table and then the floor. The baby suffered a fractured skull, intra-retinal hemorrhages, a subdural hematoma and multiple bruises and spent approximately two months recovering in the hospital.

After the incident, Bernier contacted the child's aunt, who called police. Bernier was babysitting for the child's parents at the time of the incident. The child was treated at Landmark Medical Center and Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Bernier was sentenced to 15 years with seven years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation and was ordered to have no contact with the victim. Woonsocket Police Detectives Jamie Chamberland and Anthony Conetta, Jr., led the investigation.