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Man gets 30 days in jail for breaking child's leg

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Patrick Rousseau

A Rochester man accused of breaking the leg and arm of a 7-year-old child has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and placed on probation for two years.

Patrick James Rousseau, 28, also received a 365-day stayed jail term and was ordered to successfully complete programming recommended by his probation officer.

He pleaded guilty Monday in Olmsted County District Court to one count of gross misdemeanor malicious punishment of a child. In exchange, one count of felony third-degree assault was dismissed during Monday's sentencing.

The investigation began July 17, when police were called to a local hospital for a report of possible child abuse.

The child's grandmother told officers she'd worked the night before and got home about 9:30 that Friday morning. Her daughter called and told her the child had hurt her leg while Rousseau had been watching her; the grandmother was asked to take the child to the doctor.

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The woman had to carry the 7-year-old to the car, the complaint says. Medical personnel determined the girl had a spiral fracture of her left leg and an injury to her forehead. The girl allegedly told police Rousseau hit her in the head with a flashlight, "got really mad and broke (my) leg." She also said she was afraid when he got mad, and that he pulled her hair.

The officer met with the child's mother, who said she was told the victim hurt her leg while jumping off the bed.

Rousseau told police the girl was playing with a flashlight instead of her toys, which upset him. He slapped the victim in the back of the head so hard that her head struck and bounced off the dresser, and she fell backwards, court documents say.

Rousseau then "picked her up by her hair and arms, and threw her onto the bed," according to the criminal complaint. The girl rolled several times when she landed. Rousseau speculated that she might have broken her leg if she twisted it when she fell.

He admitted the injuries the child sustained were due to his actions, but he wasn't sure how she broke her leg.

A later report from the hospital indicated the girl's left arm was broken, as well.

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