Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Father indicted in fatal beating

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Prosecutors say that while visiting Cincinnati this month, a 23-year-old South American man beat his 1-year-old Price Hill son so badly the boy later died.

Then, he ordered the boy's mother to lie about how it happened, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Oscar Rodriguez, also known as Aureliano Rameriz, Monday on charges of murder, felonious assault, endangering children and intimidation of a crime witness.

If convicted, the Guatemalan man faces life in prison.

The beating that killed Esbin Reynoso was not the first abuse the baby had suffered, Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen said. The child's ribs had been broken for a least a week before he died, hospital records showed.

Police say Esbin was shaken so violently on April 3 he suffered retinal tearing and bleeding on the brain.

The boy's mother - whose name is not listed in court records - called for an ambulance. But before paramedics arrived, prosecutors said, Rodriguez ordered her to say the toddler fell while standing on a hard floor.

She agreed. But authorities noted that Rodriguez had beaten her that day and in the past. She has not been charged with a crime.

Doctors at the hospital didn't believe the toddler's injuries came from a fall, so they alerted authorities.

Rodriguez was arrested April 4. His son lived for almost a week before dying last Wednesday.

Rodriguez is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center on $1 million bail.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com

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