BURNETT COUNTY–– The five-day jury trial of Jesse Paul Marek, 36, Frederic, is scheduled to begin April 29, 2019. Marek is facing one count of child abuse – intentionally causing great bodily harm, a class C felony, in the case of his 10-week old child’s death in 2016.
If convicted, Marek faces 40 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. The judge for the case will be Judge Eugene Harrington of Washburn County.
Samantha N. Stoeklen was also initially charged with child abuse – intentionally cause great bodily harm, but those charges were dropped last November.
The charges are based on a detailed autopsy report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, stating that the infant suffered many injuries including multiple fractures of the ribs which most likely occurred from multiple events of trauma-—forceful squeezing and shaking.
Marek told the authorities that, at around 8:30 a.m. he found the infant limp, unresponsive and barely breathing. He then informed authorities that he performed three or four chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth CPR. He then rushed the infant to the Burnett County Medical Center. The infant then was transferred to St. Paul’s Children Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The report reveals that the infant could have suffered 3-5 instances of trauma within the first three weeks of life. The report states, “None of the rib fractures appear old enough to be in any way associated with his birth.”
According to the criminal complaint, on or about Jan. 15. 2016, Marek told authorities that, at one point, the infant rolled off the couch. Despite being informed that 10-week-old babies do not roll, he insisted the infant rolled off the couch. He then admitted to having a “temper.” Stoeklen stated that the injuries could have been accidental and did not elaborate further.
Online court records indicate Marek is currently out on a $5,000 signature bond.
Judge Harrington will preside over a final pre-trial on April 1, 2019.