Warren County dad pleads not guilty in infant daughter's abuse

Girl suffered brain injury, fractured ribs
Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 19:25:25-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- A Warren County father faced a judge for the first time Wednesday in connection to alleged abuse of his 3-month-old daughter. 

Jason Bittner, 33, pleaded not guilty to the abuse that caused the infant girl to suffer a brain injury and multiple fractures to her ribs. He's facing charges of felonious assault and two counts of child endangering. 

The girl is recovering. Steve Adams, Bittner's attorney, said she's doing remarkably well.

"I just asked for everyone to pray for this family," Adams said. "It's a very stressful ordeal, but keep an open mind because medical professionals can get it wrong sometimes."

Adams said Bittner has cooperated with police and maintained his innocence. 

"There's two sides of every story," he said. 

Bittner and his wife co-own a West Chester chiropractic business.

Prosecutor David Fornshell said child abuse occurs in homes where one would least expect it.

Robert Shapiro at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said unexpected injuries to children, especially those younger than 6 months, are usually the first signs of abuse.

"Just because there's no risk factor, that doesn't mean a child won't be abused," he said. "We work hard to avoid that kind of bias, but rather look in detail at the kind of injuries we see."

The judge set Bittner's bond at $25,000 and ordered Bittner to stay away from his two children, as well as other minors. If Bittner posts bail, he will be placed on electronic monitoring house arrest.