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Published August 30, 2011, 02:50 PM

Minnesota man charged with crushing baby's ribs

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A South St. Paul man is accused of squeezing a baby boy's ribs until they broke.

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — A South St. Paul man is accused of squeezing a baby boy's ribs until they broke.

Thirty-two-year-old Mark James Nelson is charged in Washington County with felony first-degree assault with great bodily harm.

The boy's injuries happened Aug. 19 in a Forest Lake home.

County Attorney Pete Orput tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/mQ6SPO ) the baby remains in HCMC's intensive care unit. According to the complaint, doctors found 37 breaks in 22 of the child's ribs.

The boy's mother told police that when she lifted him "he felt crunchy," referring to his ribcage.

She said she had dated Nelson since four months into her pregnancy. Nelson is not the boy's biological father.

He remains in the Washington County Jail on $200,000 bail. His next court appearance is Sept. 8.

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