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Winthrop man charged with severe beating of infant son

Camren Breton, 22, has been indicted for aggravated assault after prosecutors say the beating in July will leave the child blind, a paraplegic

AUGUSTA, Maine — A 22-year-old Winthrop man who allegedly beat his infant son so badly that he will be blind and a paraplegic has been indicted on two counts of aggravated assault.

Camren Breton was indicted Thursday by a Kennebec County grand jury for the crimes, which prosecutors say took place in July.

Winthrop police went to Maine Medical Center in Portland the night of July 21 after learning that a four-month-old child was being treated following possible child abuse.

Det. Cpl. Paul A. Ferland wrote in a complaint that a caseworker for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services told him Breton and the child's mother took the infant to the hospital that afternoon with a head injury, older burns to his face and shoulder, bruising to his neck, nose, and face, and a possible broken leg.

Ferland wrote that the parents told him their two-year-old daughter spilled a bottle of hot milk on the child the previous day while Breton was in the other room and the mother was at work.

According to the complaint, a medical expert found two days later that the injuries, including symptoms of shaken baby syndrome, apparent fractures of both legs, and signs of older injuries to the brain, could not have been inflicted by a toddler.

Ferland said Breton initially offered two explanations of the burns, but then on July 23 told Ferland, "I did it ... I shook the baby."

According to the complaint, doctors said in July that if the child survived, he would most likely be a paraplegic and be blind for the rest of his life.

Breton was arrested Aug. 3 and released on $1,000 bail, according to court documents. A bail review hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9 in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Breton was previously arrested for aggravated assault after he allegedly strangled a pregnant woman in 2018, but he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct following a deferred disposition, prosecutors said in the complaint.

According to a criminal background check, Breton pleaded guilty in September 2020 to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and served 24 hours in jail.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney declined to comment on the case on Wednesday, saying only, "Whenever a child is hurt, that is a case I give the highest priority to, and I'm giving the highest priority to this case."

Sharon did not immediately return a phone call on Wednesday.