Father of Asaiah Molik arrested, charged with four counts of neglect of a dependent
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Asaiah Molik died earlier this year-- the nearly six-month-old baby was found unresponsive on January 27 while in the care of his father Averius Molik and paternal grandmother Michelle Molik. He was taken to Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the autopsy report, Asaiah had suffered numerous injuries, including twenty-three rib fractures on twelve of his ribs, "cranial trauma," and multiple hemmorhages in the body. It was determined that some of these injuries occurred weeks before Asaiah died.
“Doctors advised us that unless there was an explanation, they believe that they intentionally inflicted injuries,” said St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter.
The cause of death was unable to be determined by several pathologists. Averius claimed that the injuries were caused because he tripped while carrying Asaiah on two separate occasions, both times landing on top of him.
But in the months since Asaiah's death, Cotter believes there is enough evidence to charge Averius Molik, who was arrested around 5:00pm last night in South Bend.
“Based on his lack of getting the medical treatment and any care for Aasiah because of those injuries, we filed yesterday four different counts of neglect of a dependent,” said Cotter.
Four counts, ranging from Level 1 to Level 3 felonies, means Molik could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. According to Cotter, the reason it took so long to make an arrest is because they had to consult numerous experts to try and determine Asaiah's cause of death.
“We wanted to make sure we got this right," said Cotter. "This was never a case where the investigators put it aside and said ‘we don’t care.’ It was one where we need to make sure we take all of those steps, and sometimes it takes longer than anybody wants.”
Averius Molik is currently being held on a $100,000 bond, and if that is paid, he will have to wear a GPS tracker. He will appear in court on January 5, 2022.