Gary Simpson admitted Tuesday that he so badly abused an infant last year that her skull was fractured.
Simpson was a friend and live-in nanny to a Johnson County family. He repeatedly abused the then 2-and-a-half month-old girl.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated battery. He faces five to 16 years in prison.
The girl initially was left legally blind but has seen improvement in the months since. However, the true extent of her damage won't be known for years.
"It's difficult to think of an infant going through this pain and suffering that she did, and to know someone they trusted to care for the child would do such horrific acts to an innocent baby," said Tobi Bitner, an attorney for the victim's family.
The injuries were devastating. Doctors found that all areas of the baby's brain were affected except for her frontal lobe. Doctors found old and new injuries as well as bruised lungs, a lacerated liver and bleeding behind her eyes.
She suffered multiple seizures daily due to the abuse.
Simpson claimed to the police that he hit the baby's head on the bathtub, and again on the door when he stumbled. Simpson admitted that he was frustrated, and that he panicked. He also admitted to using drugs when the baby was abused.
"I don't think there's any question this was not an accident," said Bitner.
Simpson will be sentenced later this year.
And the baby is recovering, Bitner said.
"She's doing well. They sometimes refer to her as a miracle baby," Bitner said. "It's amazing to watch a little spirit like that fight back so strongly."
Assistant District Attorney Keith Henderson prosecuted the case. Simpson will be sentenced Aug. 2.
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