In Commonwealth v. A.R.C., the Court held that the Commonwealth failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that defendant was guilty of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. In this case, the defendant left her child with her boyfriend while she was at work. The boyfriend eventually admitted to falling on and dropping the baby on two separate occasions, resulting in a total of 17 fractures, including the child’s femur and ribs.
While this is a terrible thing to happen to an infant, the Court correctly found that the Commonwealth was unable to show that the defendant was or reasonably should have been aware of injuries to her daughter. The Court reasoned that the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child requires a knowing violation of a duty of care and the crime of Recklessly Endangering Another Person requires an actor to have acted with a “conscious disregard of a known risk of death or great bodily harm to another person.”