Police: No charges likely in case of toddler gravely injured while in babysitter's care

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The babysitter who was caring for a toddler when he suffered severe head injuries is unlikely to face criminal charges.

That's what police told the child's mother Wednesday, two years after the toddler sustained the injures.

Chelsea Valiente left her son Peyton with a babysitter in Ewa Beach a little over two years ago. Hours later, she received a terrifying phone call.

"'Your son is having a hard time waking up and he had thrown up a few times prior,'" recalls Valiente.

The unresponsive child was hospitalized with bleeding on his brain and eyes and finger-like bruises on his body. The child has an 8-inch scare on the top of his head, a constant reminder for his parents of his ordeal.

On Wednesday, Valiente met with members of the Honolulu Police Commission, expressing anger and frustration that her babysitter that day -- the wife of a Honolulu police officer who has since retired -- was never held accountable.

"If there was another child injured, after all this had happened," said Valiente. "Who takes responsibility?"

Acting Police Chief Cary Okimoto told commissioners that he doesn't believe the department can prove who actually hurt the toddler. There were other people in the home at the time of the incident, police say, and witnesses are not cooperating with the investigation.

Okimoto reported that he personally reviewed the case and said that he didn't find any violations of HPD procedures or policies by investigators, but in a press release, HPD admitted the investigation fell short of standards.

Valiente, meanwhile, says parents of the other children in the sitter's care should have been interviewed and notified immediately after her son was injured.

Now 3 years old, the boy is prone to seizures.

"As a parent, I understand. I'm glad they came today and I'm glad that (Okimoto) has taken an open view to that," said Max Sword, chairman of the Honolulu Police Commission.

Okimoto said that he has completed an audit of child injury cases in the past few years. He now intends to reevaluate three of them to make sure proper procedures were followed, all three of those were investigated by the same detective, who has since been reassigned.

Valiente says there is still one avenue that could result in charges, that would require the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office to call an investigative grand jury.

HPD promised the Valiente family that they would be updated on the case if there were any new developments.

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