For those charged with reckless endangerment of a child in Massachusetts, it often involves defendants who have not personally subjected the child to danger, but have failed to protect a child from danger. The recent case of Commonwealth v. Figueroa was recently decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court and answered some questions of when a defendant can be convicted of reckless endangerment and when they owe a duty to protect the child.
Commonwealth v. Figueroa involved child abuse of a six month old victim. The mother of the child lived with her mother, the defendant and the defendant’s boyfriend.
On February 29, 2008, the defendant’s boyfriend was shaking the baby and then droped the child on the floor causing a head injury. The child’s mother saw this and grabbed the baby and explained what happened to the defendant and asked for a ride to the hospital. Without looking at the infant, the defendant said he would be alright and threatened to call Social services if the child’s mother tried to bring him to the hospital.