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Crime News Breaking News

Maryland Mom, Boyfriend Charged With Abuse, Sex Crimes In Death Of 5-Year-Old Autistic Son

Catherine Thrasher and her boyfriend, Timothy Lee Haselden, have been charged with multiple counts of abuse and sex crimes after the death of her five-year-old son.

By Constance Johnson
Police handouts of Timothy Haselden and Catherine Thrasher

A Maryland woman and her boyfriend are facing multiple abuse charges after the death of her five-year-old autistic son.

Catherine Thrasher, 30, was charged Monday with first-degree abuse causing the death of a child younger than 13, first and second-degree assault, first degree child abuse, sex abuse of a minor and neglect of a minor, according to a press release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Timothy Lee Haselden, 33, was charged Saturday with first-degree abuse causing the death of a child younger than 13, first- and second-degree rape, assault in the first- and second-degree, first- and second-degree child abuse, sex abuse of a minor and neglect of a minor.

Deputies had responded to a call about an unconscious child on Friday and tried to save the boy’s life, but he died at the hospital.

The Washington County Medical Examiner’s staff determined that the boy had “ongoing extensive internal and external blunt force trauma,” the Herald-Mail Media reported citing court documents, as well as “multiple injuries observed on and in his body consistent with ongoing abuse.” However, they concluded that the boy most likely died from “acutely sustained injuries,” the newspaper reported.

The boy’s three-year-old sister and two-year-old brother also lived at the home. Washington County Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Lackovic told the judge at Haselden’s bond hearing that both surviving children also showed signs of being abused or mistreated, and that the younger child had to be treated at a local hospital.

Both are now in foster care, the Herald-Mail reported, citing an email from Detective Sgt. Howard Ward with the sheriff’s office.

Thrasher allegedly told investigators that she had only known Haselden for about five months, and Friday was only the second time he'd watched the children without her supervision, the Herald-Mail reported.

She allegedly admitted that she and Haselden were the only ones caring for the children.

Thrasher “continuously minimized or denied knowing about the abuse/trauma inflicted” on her son, court documents state.

The Herald-Mail reported that Thrasher allegedly blamed the boy’s injuries on a fight with one of his siblings — both toddlers — and also claimed the boy had a history of seizures but had not had one in a while. She allegedly also blamed the injuries that were consistent with rape to the boy “squatting down and sitting on the heels of his feet.”

Haselden allegedly claimed that he was babysitting the children after taking Thrasher to work when the 5-year-old became unresponsive after being fed a snack and taking his medication. He further claimed that he noticed that the boy was unable to stand up on his own and that a brown substance was coming from the child’s nose. He allegedly told investigators that put the boy on the ground and then the sofa, according to court documents.

He allegedly claimed that called Thrasher at work and told her what had occurred, after which she came home and called 911.

Emergency workers determined that the boy was in cardiac arrest. The boy’s head was swollen, possibly from a skull fracture, and there were signs of strangulation, according to court documents reviewed by the newspaper. Medical personnel told deputies that the child's injuries — both old and new — were consistent with “physical abuse/trauma.”

Thrasher and Haselden are being held without bond at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

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