DuBOIS — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Monday that charges have been filed against a 29-year-old DuBois man for allegedly inflicting life-threatening injuries on his 4-month-old daughter.
Dean Garrett Sulin has been charged by DuBois City Police with three felony counts of aggravated assault, Shapiro said during a video conference Monday afternoon.
“There is nothing, in my estimation, lower than the abuse of a helpless child, a baby,” said Shapiro. “It is abhorrent and it is illegal. We’re here today because a father in Clearfield County decided to put his hands on his infant daughter to shake her into submission.
Shapiro said the charges are the result of an incident which occurred in January 2018. The child was taken to Penn Highlands DuBois and then subsequently flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh after suffering life-threatening injuries, including a bilateral subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhages and extensive bruising.
“The physicians at UPMC who examined the child determined that her injuries were a result of abusive head trauma previously referred to as shaken baby syndrome,” said Shapiro. “During further examination, the attending physicians determined that the child had a combination of these new injuries but also old injuries as well.”
Shapiro said his office assumed jurisdiction of the case following the referral from the Clearfield County District Attorney’s office at the end of August 2020.
“And we moved swiftly,” said Shapiro. “During the course of the investigation, police learned that the defendant was the baby’s sole caregiver that day that she was injured. It is believed that the defendant engaged in a course of conduct of physically abusing his baby daughter. Familial witnesses told investigators that on different occasions, they actually saw Sulin pick up his infant daughter and shake her violently while screaming expletives in her direction — a 4-month-old baby girl.”
Shapiro said the child’s prognosis at this time is unknown primarily due to the neurological nature of her injuries, noting that she is no longer in the custody of Sulin.
“There are consequences to harming children in Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro. “We have shown that time and time again when anyone here in Pennsylvania harms a child. We arrested Sulin this morning (Monday) and he faces three counts of aggravated assault. All felonies. He will spend considerable time behind bars upon conviction.
“My office is focused, as you know, on fighting for the defenseless,” said Shapiro. “And we will continue to hold child abusers accountable here in Clearfield County and all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Shapiro expressed appreciation to his office as well as DuBois City Police Chief Blaine Clark and his department, in addition to the doctors at UPMC Children’s Hospital.
“We appreciate them very much,” said Shapiro.
Clark, during the video conference, thanked Shapiro and his office for their “rapid expeditious way of handling this particular case.”
“This is a good day for every citizen in DuBois, as well as Clearfield County,” said Clark. “We worked very hard on this case.”
Clark acknowledged Officer Zayne Rhed and Cpl. Randy Young, who initially started the investigation.
“But if it wasn’t for the persistence and the professionalism of Officer Rhed, I don’t know where we’d be with this case,” said Clark. “But the person that we’re saving the most out of this is that baby that was injured so severely by the individual. So thank you and your office, thank the citizens of DuBois for supporting us. And it’s just a good day for the City of DuBois.”
Sulin’s bail was set at $10,000. His $10,000 bond was posted and conditions are no unsupervised contact with the victim and no drugs or alcohol, said Shapiro.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 23 at District Judge J. Michael Morris in Clearfield.