Orange County News______________
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
October 27, 2021 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney David M. Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea
in Assault Which Left Seven Month-Old Baby Blind
Grandmother Pleads Guilty to Assault in the First Degree for
Causing Serious Physical Injury to Baby Girl
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, Kimberly Bennett, 45, of Middletown, pled guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown, to Assault in the First Degree, in connection with an assault on Bennett’s seven month-old granddaughter, for whom Bennett was the primary caregiver. The assault, which occurred on February 22, 2020, at Bennett’s home on Bedford Avenue, in the City of Middletown, resulted in the child suffering serious physical injury including damage to her brain and eyes, and rendered the child blind.
On February 22, 2020, City of Middletown Police Officers and ambulance personnel responded to Bennett’s residence and found the seven month-old baby unresponsive and exhibiting facial bruising. A joint investigation was conducted by the City of Middletown Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the New York State Police. The results were presented to an Orange County Grand Jury which indicted Bennett on charges including Assault in the First Degree.
Bennett was arrested by the City of Middletown Police Department.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Middletown Police Department, for their investigation and the arrest of Bennett, as well as the New York State Police, who assisted in the investigation.
“It is unthinkable that these injuries could have been inflicted by the person who was primarily responsible for this child’s wellbeing,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “I am grateful to the City of Middletown Police Department for their tireless actions in pursuing this case. There is no excuse for inflicting these types of life altering injuries on an innocent baby. Help is available within Orange County for those who believe they are unable to care for their children .”
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Janine Kovacs and Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen.
Bennett remains remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $150,000 cash, $500,000 secured bond or $1,000,000 partially secured bond, and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2022.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.