AUBURN — A city man who police said fractured his 2-month-old son’s skull may be sent to prison for more than two years if prosecutors have their way.

Allen-Michael St. Claire, 24, of 2 Laurel Ave. is scheduled to appear in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Friday afternoon to be sentenced on a charge of Class B aggravated assault, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In a plea agreement last month, St. Claire pleaded guilty to the charge. Both sides agreed to a seven-year sentence with the time he would serve in prison to be capped at 2½ years. St. Claire is allowed to seek less actual prison time at Friday’s hearing.

After serving his prison time, he will be on probation for two years.

Bonnie Corbin, 25, the injured child’s mother, would like to see St. Claire serve more time than discussed in the plea deal.

St. Claire pleaded guilty a month ago to the most serious of three assault charges. Prosecutors dropped the two lesser felony charges.

Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors said they would have presented doctors as witnesses who would have testified that Connor St. Claire-Corbin, now 13 months old, suffered a fractured skull on the right side of his head.

The baby had been sick at home with pneumonia the night before May 11. His mother would have testified that she went to bed on May 10 and that Connor was fussy because of his illness. She would have said that St. Claire would have told her he was up with the baby during the night and that a box fan fell on the child. She would have testified that they took Connor to a doctor the next day after they noticed swelling on the side of his head.

A police detective interviewed St. Claire, who eventually said he hit the baby’s head against an interior door frame during the night. He retraced his steps in the home for police.

Corbin said St. Claire’s admission was a complete shock to her. “One morning I woke up and my whole world was completely changed,” she said. “My baby could have died and I think about that every day.”

Corbin plans to attend Friday’s sentencing and will address the court. She doesn’t think 2½ years is a long enough sentence for what St. Claire did.

“I want to let the judge know that he’s had no remorse,” Corbin said of St. Claire. “He never thought of anybody but himself, even when Connor was originally injured. He should have told somebody about it. It should never have gotten to the point of where it got,” she said, and she fears for her child’s future.

“Right now he’s doing really well physically,” Corbin said, meeting developmental milestones. Connor isn’t talking yet, she said, and because his injuries occurred on the area of his brain that controls speech, she worries whether he may have cognitive developmental issues.

After he was injured, Connor was seen by doctors once a week, and is now seen once a month. Corbin said doctors have tried to reassure her that they won’t know with any certainty about developmental issues until Connor reaches school age.

The court ordered a protection of abuse order for Connor to keep St. Claire away from him, and that order is set to expire in June. Corbin has temporary sole custody of the child, but said she will work to make that a permanent arrangement while St. Claire is in jail.

According to Corbin, Connor developed pneumonia after his ribs were broken and he was hospitalized for treatment in early May 2013. She stayed at the hospital with him, and on the day he was released, she left him in St. Claire’s care while she slept. 

When she woke up, Corbin said, she saw her son’s head “was swollen to twice the size that it should have been.” She asked St. Claire what happened, and “he said he didn’t know” she said.

They bundled the infant up and took him to the doctor, and Corbin said the doctor recognized the head trauma immediately and Connor was moved to Maine Medical Center in Portland. On the way to the hospital, St. Claire told her he was outside having a cigarette when a fan had fallen on Connor’s head, and later “asked me to ask my 4-year-old if he dropped a toy on his head.”

“He was with me the whole time and never said anything” about what actually happened, Corbin said. “He didn’t even try to bring him to the hospital after he did what he did. He just tried to hide it the whole time.”

At Maine Med, Child Protective Services and Auburn police interviewed each parent separately. At some point, Corbin remembers, police came into the room and told her St. Claire injured their infant. “Then they brought him in the room to confess to me himself,” she said, and she was shocked.

Now, she’s angry.

Last Saturday, according to mutual friends, St. Claire’s friends threw him a going-away party, knowing that he would be taken from the courtroom Friday directly to jail. “I am so angry and upset and baffled that anybody would throw him a party for nearly killing his son,” Corbin said, or why St. Claire’s friends thought it was appropriate to make him a “hero” cape and cake with the words “super-hero” on it and then brag about it on Facebook.

St. Claire was indicted on the felony charges in June, and summoned instead of being arrested and was assigned personal recognizance bail. Corbin doesn’t understand why he wasn’t arrested, particularly when she knows of other abuse cases in which the offenders are arrested. She’s also frustrated by delays in the case that she blames on St. Claire’s reluctance to go to jail.

“I believe Allen should go to jail for what he did,” Corbin said, and wouldn’t agree to any plea deal that did not include jail time. So far, Corbin said, “I feel like he’s gotten away with it, and I don’t want that.”

St. Claire, through various family members, has attempted to have a relationship with his son, but Corbin said she does not intend to let that happen. Her refusal to allow contact between father and son has strained her relationships with St. Claire’s mother and grandparents, but she does let St. Claire’s mother visit with the child.

A student who is also working full time, Corbin said she has relied on the support of her friends and family to get through financial and emotional struggles of the past year.

After St. Claire confessed to police, and then to her, Corbin said she couldn’t bear to stay in their apartment in Auburn where the infant was injured and had to move. A friend helped her find another place in Lewiston and helped pay some bills for several months after Connor was hurt so Corbin could devote more time to care for him, which she said was hard to do because of his injuries.

She worries a lot about Connor’s future and what he might need for a full recovery, and she also worries about how she’s going to tell her older son what happened. That child is now 5 years old.

In addition to remarks she intends to make Friday, Corbin said other family members plan to attend the hearing to tell the judge about how St. Claire’s actions have affected their family.

St. Claire did not return a phone call seeking comment. He is being represented by Auburn attorney Leonard Sharon.


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