Oil City Couple Sentenced to Jail Terms in Infant Abuse Case

| March 11, 2019

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – An Oil City couple were recently sentenced on charges from a disturbing child abuse case.

According to court documents, on Friday, March 8, Judge Robert L. Boyer handed down sentences to 23-year-old Ashley Marie Caldwell and 21-year-old Brennen Allen Blauser, both of Oil City.

The case against Caldwell and Blauser stemmed from a Venango County Children and Youth Services (CYS) investigation initiated in June of 2018.

Caldwell pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of Recklessly Endangering Another Person on December 28, 2018.

Judge Boyer sentenced her to a minimum of one month up to a maximum of two years less one day confinement in the Venango County Jail and ordered her to pay restitution in the amount of $9,813.63.

She was given credit for 137 days served.

As a result of her plea negotiation, the following charges were dismissed:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3
– Conspiracy – Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3
– Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Conspiracy – Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Aggravated Assault – Victim Less Than 6 and Defendant 18 or older, Felony 2
– Conspiracy – Aggravated Assault – Victim Less Than 6 and Defendant 18 or older, Felony 2
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Conspiracy – Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2

Blauser pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of Aggravated Assault – Victim Less Than 6 and Defendant 18 or older on December 13, 2018.

Judge Boyer sentenced him to a minimum of one year less one day to a maximum of two years less one day confinement followed by three years of probation and ordered him to pay $9813.63.

He was given credit for 246 days served.

As a result of his plea negotiation, the following charges were dismissed:

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3
– Conspiracy – Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 3
– Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Conspiracy – Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Aggravated Assault – Victim Less Than 6 and Defendant 18 or older, Felony 2
– Conspiracy – Aggravated Assault – Victim Less Than 6 and Defendant 18 or older, Felony 2
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2
– Conspiracy – Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 2

Caldwell and Blauser both remain lodged in the Venango County Jail.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, on Friday, June 8, Patrolman Culp responded to UPMC Northwest and met with a caseworker from Venango County Children and Youth Services (CYS) to investigate a report by emergency room staff of suspected child abuse.

Upon arrival, Patrolman Culp observed and documented several visible injuries suffered by an infant male. Based on the level of the injuries, the boy was transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital’s Child Advocacy Center for a comprehensive examination.

Following the visit at UPMC Northwest, Patrolman Culp spoke to Ashley Marie Caldwell and Brennen Allen Blauser in their home with an advocate from Venango County CYS.

According to the complaint, during the conversation, Blauser admitted to being “too rough” occasionally during feeding and burping.

The complaint also stated that when spoken to alone, Caldwell stated that Blauser becomes frustrated during feedings and became rough and forceful with the bottle. Caldwell also stated that she had verbally admonished Blauser for his conduct.

On Saturday, June 9, the comprehensive examination was conducted by Dr. Adelaide Eichman of UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center.

Patrolman Culp obtained a copy of Dr. Eichman’s report which indicated that the infant boy has suffered multiple oral injuries, hemorrhaging in both eyes, abrasions in various stages of healing to both ears, and additional abrasions, bruising, and petechiae about the face.

Dr. Eichman’s conclusion from the exam was that the infant boy was the victim of physical child abuse. The report stated that it is Dr. Eichman’s belief that if the boy is reintroduced into the same home environment, he will be reinjured and could be killed.

Dr. Eichman conducted a follow-up examination on Tuesday, June 19, and Patrolman Culp received a copy of her post exam report. The follow-up examination included a skeletal survey which revealed fractures in various stages of healing to the infant’s left tibia as well as to several ribs.


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