The mother who was arrested at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital under accusations she injected an unknown substance into her sick child's feeding tube was indicted Friday, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
Jessica Valik, 25, was indicted on two counts of child endangering and one count of felonious assault.
Valik brought her 4-year-old son from New York to be treated for a rare skin disease at Children’s Hospital, her attorney said in court on Oct. 2. The child suffers from Epidermolysis Bullosa (E.B.) and has been chronically ill since birth.
Investigators found evidence and witness accounts of Valik tampering with her son's medical equipment, according to court documents.
The son became ill with diarrhea as a result of her injecting the unknown substance, according to Deters. Hospital staff became suspicious of the mother after the child had extensive treatment and there was no medical reason for the diarrhea. It is not clear exactly what Valik allegedly put into the feeding tube.
Children with his condition are extremely susceptible to infection and Valik’s actions heightened the possibility of infection, Deters said. The multiple diaper changes due to the diarrhea also caused severe pain to the child as any movement or contact with his skin is painful, Deters said.
“This is very, very serious, very scary. We believe that she poses a risk to this very sick child,” a prosecutor told the judge.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said his office is looking at this as a possible case of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome - a mental illness in which a parent or caretaker exaggerates or induces a child's sickness.
“It’s a frightening pattern of conduct which I simply cannot explain,” said Deters in a statement.
Jobs and Family Services is reportedly opening a case on the child.
The child remains hospitalized at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
A judge on set Valik’s bond at $250,000 and ordered her to stay away from the child if she posts bond.
If convicted of all charges, she faces the possibility of eight years in prison, according to Deters.
FOX19 NOW has reached out to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.