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Concord man charged with assaulting infant, held on $500,000 cash bail

A 25-year-old Concord man has been arrested and held on a half-million dollars cash bail three weeks after the police say he attacked his girlfriend’s infant daughter, causing severe brain damage.

The man, Scott Diberto of 23 Ormond St., was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the Jan. 26 incident. He was baby-sitting the 14-month-old child at the time, the complaints show.

The complaints indicate that the child experienced hemorrhaging around the brain and/or eye and a prolonged loss of oxygen to the brain. A judge has sealed details of the Concord police’s investigation into the incident, and police spokesman Timothy O’Malley said he was not yet authorized to comment on the case, as it is ongoing. He also declined to comment on the child’s condition.

Diberto’s assault charges – all felonies – are subject to enhanced punishment because of a statute against acts of “exceptional cruelty.” Dr. Patricia Edwards, a Concord pediatrician, said the injuries described are typically caused by an extreme attack, such as when a caregiver shakes an infant rapidly, and result in long-term damage.

In addition to the assault, Diberto is accused of leaving the child alone in the Ormond Street residence about 4:15 p.m. to purchase beer from a store, and of failing to phone for medical help when the child’s injuries became apparent. The charges do not indicate whether Diberto had alcohol in his system at the time of the alleged offense.

Authorities detained Diberto just after noon Wednesday, outside a residence near Batchelder and Beaman streets, according to an arrest report. They said he had been staying with “several different family members in the area.”

He was arraigned Thursday in Concord’s district court, O’Malley said, and held on $500,000 cash bail – $100,000 for each charge. As part of his bail conditions, he is prohibited from contacting the victim, her family members or any child under 18.

Diberto previously lived in Laconia and was charged there with multiple felony counts of forgery in 2007, according to a district court clerk. He later pleaded guilty to the charges in Belknap County Superior Court, she said. He also pleaded guilty to a 2006 possession of a controlled drug charge, she said, and was convicted of another 2006 charge, for theft by unauthorized taking.

Diberto’s Facebook page states that he is a self-employed carpenter and has attended Laconia and Newfound Regional high schools. He appears to have written several bleak posts on the site recently, including one Feb. 2 – “can never forgive myself” – another Feb. 6 – “ive never been this depressed to the point where i dnt care what happens to me u know what f--- it” – and yet another Feb. 9 – “life sucks then u die thats it.”

Diberto is scheduled for a probable cause hearing Feb. 27.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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