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Police say baby had fractures because of abuse. Why is his pediatrician facing charges?

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A Kentucky pediatrician is facing criminal charges because police say he failed to report the abuse of a baby he had provided care for.

Dr. John Roach, 45, of Paducah, has been charged with failure to report child abuse, first and second offense, Kentucky State Police said. The charges are misdemeanors.

State police said the case stemmed from an ongoing abuse investigation in which they charged David Minks with first-degree criminal abuse of a child.

According to court documents obtained by WPSD television, Roach saw a 1-year-old baby on Sept. 13 and again in June because of fractures to his right arm.

When the baby was brought in in September, police say, he was unable to move his shoulder and “screams when touched.”

On June 28, he was seen because bruising and swelling in his arm that had been noted on June 4 did not fully subside, according to an arrest warrant in Minks’ case.

X-rays were taken that showed fractures in the humerus in both instances.

Police said they consulted with two physicians at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, who found that the child had “multiple corner fractures” in his right arm, “which only occur in young children and are from yanking, pulling, or twisting motion.”

“These type fractures are highly associated with abuse and do not appear with normal infant handling,” Minks’ arrest warrant states.

The Vanderbilt doctors determined that the child had been abused, probably more than once. Police said Minks “admitted to pulling/yanking on” the child’s arm “with excessive force on numerous occasions,” according to the warrant.

Minks, 29, of Paducah, was arrested July 9 after a week-long investigation by state police and the state Department of Community Based Services, state police said. He faces one count of first-degree criminal abuse.

State police served Roach with a court summons on Thursday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 23.

According to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Roach graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2000. The board has not taken any action against his license, according to the website.

Under Kentucky law, anyone who has reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected is required to report the abuse. The state’s 24-hour hotline to receive such reports is 1-877-597-2331. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services provides more information on reporting at chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dcbs/dpp.

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