Father accused of causing injuries that left infant on life support

Father accused of causing injuries that left infant on life support

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Shaun Sicsico posed with his daughter for a photo dated June 30 he posted on his Facebook page. — Photo courtesy of Facebook

Updated 3:30 pm, Wednesday, July 31

Shaun Sicsico, a 19-year-old father, sat in the Dukes County jail Wednesday, held on $50,000 bail following his arraignment in Edgartown District Court Monday morning on a charge of assault and battery on a child and causing substantial injuries that left his 12-week-old daughter, born prematurely, on life support in a Boston Hospital.

Jaelynn Elizabeth Metell was born on May 2, at Massachusetts General Hospital. She weighed 2 pounds, 8 ounces at birth, according to her birth announcement. On Monday, doctors gave her little hope of survival.

In court Monday, Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard recited the statement of facts that formed the basis of the criminal complaint against Mr. Sicsico and his arrest Sunday by Oak Bluffs and State Police.

On Saturday night, the child’s parents, Andrea Metell of Oak Bluffs and Mr. Sicsico, brought her to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was later transferred by MedFlight to Boston Children’s Hospital.

The attending physicians, as well as Dr. Alice Newton, medical director of the Child Protection Team at Boston Children’s Hospital, came to the conclusion that the child’s injuries were consistent with abuse, according to a copy of the statement of facts obtained by The Times.

The baby had “bruising on all limbs, as well as bruising of eyelids, and a torn frenulum [a connecting fold of membrane serving to support or restrain a part (as the tongue)].”

The doctors concluded that the injuries most likely occurred sometime Saturday. The hospital contacted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and told the social welfare agency that Jaelynn had been brought to the hospital with severe brain injuries. DCF social workers took emergency custody of the child and called the Oak Bluffs Police Department.

On Sunday morning, Oak Bluffs detective Nicholas Curelli and State Police Sergeant Jeff Stone interviewed the parents. Mr. Sicsico told the police officers that “he spun the victim and may have spun her too hard,” according to the statement of facts.

Police arrested Mr. Sicsico that morning. “Further charges may follow upon worsening of victim’s condition,” Detective Curelli said in his report, “which as of July 28, 2013, at 18:35 hrs, is grim, according to medical staff at Children’s Hospital.”

In court Monday, Ms. Marshard asked District Court Judge Thomas Barrett for bail of $75,000. Judge Barrett set bail at $50,000 and continued the case to tomorrow, Thursday, August 1, when Mr. Sicsico will appear with his lawyer or ask the court to appoint a lawyer. Mr. Sicsico was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

In a telephone conversation Monday, Cape and Island’s District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said Mr. Sicsico moved to Martha’s Vineyard from Connecticut but has been living on the Island for several years.

Mr. O’Keefe said the child was born prematurely and had only been home for three to four weeks. She is presently at Children’s Hospital “on life support,” he said.

The charge of aggravated assault of a child carries a penalty of up to 16 years in state prison, Mr. O’Keefe said.

In a telephone conversation Wednesday, a spokesman for Boston Children’s Hospital said she could not comment on Jaelynns condition.

In a statement emailed to The Times, DCF director of public affairs Cayenne Isaksen did comment.

“The Department of Children and Families is deeply saddened by this tragic incident and is actively investigating the matter,” Ms. Isaksen said. “The Department has been providing support and service referrals to the family since the end of May, and the child is currently in the care of DCF.”

Asked about the next step in this process, Ms. Isaksen said, “The department is currently conducting an investigation in response to the report we received regarding this incident. During the investigation process, interviews will be held with the family, friends of family, or whomever DCF staff or the family requests to be interviewed, as well as professionals that the child may see on a regular basis.”

According to court records, in the past two years Mr. Sicsico was arrested for receiving a stolen credit card, improper use of credit card under $250, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.


  1. This is so sick.. something else had to deff happen because this doesn’t happen from just being ” spun “

  2. A wee baby, born so underweight. Struggling to survive.

    Now, these allegations against the Father.
    Rips one’s heart apart.

  3. Why wasn’t the mother arrested? Those aren’t injuries sustained only from swinging (!!!!!) her around.

  4. Best to pray for the baby and her family. The police have spent much time on this incident and will continue to investigate. People should wait for more facts before offering uninformed opinions.

  5. This is so unbelievably sad, but please reserve judgment until all the facts come out. The nature of these injuries are suspicious to say the least and it’s tempting to come out guns blazing against the parents. But unless you are a witness, or a trained professional, it’s just ignorant speculation. I hope that regardless of how it happened, the doctors can work their magic and this little girl can recover from her injuries.

  6. i went to the high school with this kid he was new and i became a buddy but after this… and it just makes me sick the way that premature baby was treated and where did that money go it was thousands the mother should not just get away free ether. the baby needs a family that will take care of her

  7. This is disgusting, horrific, and most of all, incredibly sad. No matter
    what one may say about waiting for all the “facts”, something happened
    to this poor, innocent little baby. Those injuries do not just occur on
    their own. I hope that whoever was responsible for this tiny girl’s
    suffering is held accountable, and punished to the full extent of the

  8. I was in the emergency room at same time as this was happening. The baby’s screams will stay with me forever.
    Even if the Judge sentences the father to 16 years, it is to short of a sentence.

    1. in the condition the Drs. are saying she was in,i don’t think it was her you heard screaming..screaming would have been a good sign..in this condition,maybe another child that was in at the same time

  9. Such a sad situation. Does MVCS offer parenting classes? If not, this might be a wake-up call to them to help very young parents like this learn to cope with the demands of an infant. It might prevent another tragedy from happening.
    We teach childbirth classes, why not life situation classes as well.

    1. I doubt whether a a parenting class is going to turn these adolescent parents into responsible, functioning adults. Does anyone need a class to teach them not to spin a tiny premature infant around the room?? This child was at great risk the moment she was conceived.

  10. Thank most of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. To the rest of you who have no clue about who this baby or her mother are, you need to get a clue. We have one of the biggest, most supportive, and tight-knit families on Martha’s Vineyard. When a member of this family needs a hand with anything, there are at least ten people ready and willing to help out.

    This is a tradgedy that should have never taken place, but it has, and we need to be there for the baby rather than handing down judgements on a young, loving mother.

    For Shaun, there is no forgiveness. I hope you both can get a grip on reality.

    Ps- I like reading The Times, but I can’t even believe that you published the name of a victim of a crime. That is extremely poor reporting. Shaun’s case is public record, fair game. But to drag a victim and her mother through the mud and hate and gossip of this island is despicable.

    1. I was also shocked that they released the name of the victim. As for the mother, she is over 18 so that makes hers public record.

  11. Can anyone explain what ‘swung’ means and under what circumstances somebody would swing an infant…that maybe is just about weighing double digits?
    This is tragic, the father obviously is way too immature to understand, either innocently or in frustration the frailty of any 3 month old baby.
    Where were all the supportive family members Saturday? It was a perfect beach day but at least one out of a least those 10 referred to needed to be around.

  12. That poor, innocent child. May God watch over her and the many gifted, extraordinary people caring for her–make that, trying to save her LIFE–at Children’s. (Sicsico…hmmmm…sick psycho.)

  13. Sending love and healing to baby Jaelynn. I hope she survives and DCF places her with a family capable of the care she deserves and requires. Knowing both parents well, I hope that drug and alcohol rehabilitation is sought. The community came together to fundraise for Jaelynn’s medical bills while in Boston after her birth, and I hope the much needed support will continue.

  14. I’m not sure how it could be accomplished, but perhaps people should be licensed before assuming the responsibilities of parenthood.

    1. In the world of the ACLU and Obama? You can’t even require an ID to vote!

  15. I don’t believe we should know the name of this child. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong? But doesn’t a minor, when typically a victim, have that privacy?

    1. As far as I know, the minor privacy law covers perpetrators and rape victims. Of course, I’m not a lawyer, your millage will vary. I’m sure the court will deliver any earned slap on the wrist.

      1. The term of time served decided after a trail and sentencing if legit must be in an off Island facility. This young man will inevitaby find out the price he will pay. For anyone to defend or concieve this is proper behavior with an infant is as revolting as the offense itself.

  16. the ignorance and arrogance that are circulating from this story is sickening me. I know shaun and i know that he wouldnt of deliberately injured his child, she was his “little princess” as he called her, and loved playing with her running from room to room with her in his arms just to see her cute smile. everyone needs to keep in mind that accidents happen and that little girl was very premature. she was born over 12 weeks ago. if she was born on time she would only be about 2 weeks old right now.. she was probably very fragile which makes her way more vulnerable to injury than the average baby. Its so immoral how newspapers and news shows can publicly ruin someones name and life before all the details are out there and the investigation is over. the media really cares that much about peoples attention to make a unfortunate father look like a demonic monster over what was probably an accident. instead of making him seem worse of a person then he is, realize this poor father is in jail for this, and probably doesnt even know the condition of his child himself. its bad enough he has to be going threw this, all these news articles are uncalled for.

    (and also all these topics about his facebook pictures are irrelevant. he is a 19 year old kid dressing how he wants. hes not supposed to be looking like a lawyer himself and all this judgement being passed is pathetic)

    1. Maybe if you were telling your friend the dangers and precautions about having a very premature child THIS would not have happened. You needed to tell him that he is running around with what should have been a 1 week old! You are right, he is a 19 year old KID, and he surely should not ever have been left alone with her because he is not mature enough to properly take care of such a fragile angel. Running from room to room with her? Didn’t we all just send massive amounts of prayers to see this little girl pull through birth and some even sending money to this family so they can visit her as much as possible while she was in Boston? Just for him to be a few weeks later running around with her? I understand how you want to defend your friend, but he needs to realize what he has done and live with that for the rest of his life… hopefully some of these comments and articles will slap him in the face and get that through his head. Oh and I’m sorry to say, but he did not care about the fragile state of his daughter when he was running around with her, so he certainly doesn’t deserve to know her conditions now.

  17. Accidents like this should never happen if you have common sense. A baby ( especially a premature baby) needs head support at all times. what part of running from room to room, or spinning a 12 week old preemie sounds like a good idea? It doesn’t take much of a shaking motion to injure a babies brain. its just common sense, or so I thought. Maybe if they weren’t so busy smoking weed and drinking this wouldn’t have happened. If you cant quit smoking while your pregnant for the sake of your child then that already tells you a lot of what kind of mother that person will be a few months down the road. I got pregnant at 15 and my child never suffered a single injury, and I was ALONE no boyfriend, no mother to help, and my father was rarely home. I got nervous every time someone else held her in fear they would accidently harm her. Some people just don’t have that mother instinct. They cant form a bond. They are just about the attention. The look at me im young and have a baby, lets post photos on facebook and act like im a good mother… This was something that could have very easily been prevented. and its very very sad that this poor baby has to go through this. I would KILL the father of my child for being so stupid!! I hope she pulls through. She fought so hard in the beginning she deserves a long healthy SAFE life.

  18. I don’t know what you’re getting at. Maybe you can share with the rest of the class?

  19. Innuendo and gossip often appear in these pages, especially under tragic stories, but here is what THE RULES actually say about a comment like yours:

    “Implicating others, expanding on The Times’ published report with speculation or allegations that were not part of the article as published are out of bounds. You cannot post comments that make defamatory, unfounded allegations, or speculations about the subjects of published articles or — even more egregious — about people not even mentioned in published reports. The newspaper tries very hard to publish only what it knows and can support with careful, documented reporting. We try to speak with all the legitimate parties to the story. We try to let the readers draw their own conclusions after reading. We try to consider the information we have against the importance of the story to our community and readers. You may know something we don’t know, but we publish only what we’ve satisfied ourselves that we know. That’s what is available for comment.”

  20. No, I think you’re mistaken. The father was charged with a crime of assaulting his child which did severe damage to the victim. There are no unfounded or speculative allegations here.

  21. I’m not saying that you’re wrong Guest, as all my info about this case has come from the news and is not firsthand, but I’ll remind you that being charged with a crime is different than being convicted of one.

  22. I wasn’t being facetious – I really don’t know what that person is suggesting – but unfortunately, given your comment, I’m left imagining the intention was something hateful or offensive. Whatever happened to ‘love thy neighbor’ and ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone?’

  23. Nice life plan! I’d pay to see how many people THAT works out for! That is the common expectation in america but is decreasingly delivered upon. No doubt this couple wasn’t prepared, but your magic play book fantasy plan is rarely how people live their lives anymore.

    No matter how public previous announcements were, Jaelynn is now considered a victim of a crime; we would all “know” about the incident from word of mouth, but you should NEVER report details of a victim before a trial is ever held.

  24. I’m pretty sure no piece of paper (which is really all a marriage certificate is) is going to stop someone from abusing their infant… Anyone who could do that is a disturbed, disgusting individual, and being married is not going to change that…

    Furthermore, plenty of married parents who followed your picture perfect “Life Plan” go on to provide horrible situations for their children.

  25. Agreed!

    Many successful, loving, responsible parents have out of control children whose lives end up much like this, especially on Martha’s Vineyard. They’ve done nothing but their best, yet I’m sure feel unsuccessful because of the guilt in thinking they could have done something different; kids are crazy and do what they want. It’s NOT the parents fault.

    VeryAnnoyed, if you even have children, I bet they’re just perfect thanks to your worldly wisdom.

  26. I understood your point and agreed with it. I wanted to also point out that parents can provide positive situations for their children and that it doesn’t guarantee success.

  27. You are, once again, bringing up the fact that they were not married. As an unwed mother, I find it quite offensive that you would imply that is a reason that this poor baby is on life support. We are unwed, but both my boyfriend and I are amazing, caring, gentle parents who have never and would NEVER even think of doing anything to injure our child. Again, I will state that a marriage certificate does not magically turn someone into a better parent, so please find an argument that has some sort of merit.