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West Chicago man guilty of slamming baby into furniture
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Jay Siedelberg

 

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Published: 12/17/2009 2:52 PM | Updated: 12/17/2009 3:42 PM

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A former Huntley man now living in West Chicago faces up to 30 years in prison after a judge Thursday afternoon found him guilty of allegations he intentionally slammed his 11-week-old son into a home entertainment center, leaving the boy with possible permanent brain damage.

Jay Siedelberg, 27, was convicted of aggravated battery to a child and reckless conduct after a three-day bench trial in which he admitted striking the boy's head on piece of furniture, but testified it was an accident.

A doctor who treated the boy, however, testified that there was virtually no way the boy's injuries were unintentional, saying it would take the force of a serious car accident or fall from a second-story window to cause them.

Siedelberg leaned over and buried his head in his hands after hearing the verdict.

While issuing the guilty verdict, McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon focused on Siedelberg's admissions that he lied to his wife, police and the boy's doctor about how the injury occurred, first claiming the boy's head had bumped against a flat wall.

"The defendant testified that he would never intentionally harm his child, but that statement is impossible to reconcile with the fact he would lie to his son's treating physician," Condon said. "All this lying is evidence of guilty knowledge. That's the only way it can be taken, and that's how I take it."

Siedelberg, who had been out on $10,000 bond since his 2005 arrest, was remanded to the county jail after the guilty verdict and, unless Condon sets a new bond, will remain there until his sentencing Feb. 17. He faces six to 30 years in prison.

"It's a sad case all around," McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi. "There are no winners. (Prosecutors) won the case, but a family is going to be separated for at least six years."

Siedelberg attorney Thomas Loizzo said he respectfully disagreed with the verdict, and would likely ask the judge to set bond so his client could put his affairs in order before going to prison.

The charges stemmed from an Oct. 27, 2005, incident that occurred while Siedelberg was watching the infant boy and his 2-year-old girl in his Huntley home. After giving various accounts of the incident, Siedelberg finally told authorities that he was trying to calm the boy by swinging him in a pendular motion when he became distracted by his daughter and turned suddenly, slamming the boy's head into a corner of the entertainment center.

The now 4-year-old boy, according to his mother, still cannot walk and sees several specialists for treatment.