Oakdale man accused of brutally assaulting 5-year-old daughter

De’Anthony Simpson could face 20 years in prison

An Oakdale man charged with assaulting his 5-year-old daughter and causing a traumatic brain injury -- leaving her in a vegetative state with little hope for recovery -- was taken into custody last week.

The Washington County attorney’s office charged De’Anthony Russell Simpson, 24, with one count of felony first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm.

According to a criminal complaint, Oakdale police received a report on May 15 that a 5-year-old Oakdale girl had undergone emergency brain surgery at Gillette Children’s Hospital due to a severe brain injury. According to that report, the girl also had “significant bruising from head to toe.”

The girl reportedly spent most of her time living with her biological mother in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but had been living with Simpson, his girlfriend and her 5-year-old son in an Oakdale apartment for approximately six weeks.

During several interviews with authorities in May, Simpson said a TV had fallen on his daughter, causing her injuries. But according to the criminal complaint, he changed his story on June 13.

He then told police that his girlfriend had gone to work and her son to school on the morning of May 15, and he was home alone with his daughter. He allegedly said he got into an argument with the 5-year-old girl, when he became angry and grabbed her, asking her why she hated him.

The complaint said he then threw her on the bed with enough force to cause her to bounce onto the floor, where she hit her head causing the traumatic brain injury.

Simpson told police he tried to revive the girl by splashing cold water on her face. When this did not work, he called his girlfriend, who later returned to the apartment. She placed the child into the shower in another unsuccessful attempt to revive her. The complaint stated after some time had passed, Simpson determined his daughter needed medical attention and he drove her to the emergency room at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood. No attempt to call 911 was ever made, according to the complaint.

Police said a neurosurgeon and all treating physicians who operated on the girl concluded that her injuries were not consistent with a TV falling on her, but were consistent with child abuse. The injuries the medical team listed include: “severe traumatic brain injury that resulted in subdural hematoma and cerebral edema that required immediate emergency brain surgery; significant scattered bruising over her entire body, including on her cheeks, forehead, chest, arms, legs and feet, all consistent with blunt force trauma; respiratory failure as a result of her neurological injury, and a liver contusion caused by liver trauma.”

The girl remains in the hospital in a vegetative state with no chance of recovery, according to the complaint.

Simpson is currently being held in the Washington County Jail in Stillwater awaiting an initial court appearance on Thursday, July 3. His bail has been set at $1 million, or $750,000 with conditions.

If convicted of the charge of felony first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm, Simpson could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.


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