If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.
An Orono mother whose baby allegedly was severely injured by her ex-boyfriend claims in a federal lawsuit that the boy’s medical providers failed to tell her about signs of abuse, and didn’t report suspected abuse to Maine authorities as required by law.
Alexandria Orduna, 22, is seeking unspecified damages from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicaid, to pay for the 2-year-old’s ongoing medical care. The boy is blind and suffered brain injuries on Jan. 10, 2019, as a result of a skull fracture allegedly inflicted by her ex Cyree Hansley, 25, of North Carolina, the complaint said.
A Penobscot County grand jury indicted Hansley in May 2019 on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault on a child less than 6 years old. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.
Hansley was scheduled for a hearing in April at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor but that hearing was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. A new court date hasn’t been set.
Orduna initially took the baby after its birth in June 2018 to the Brewer Medical Clinic run by Penobscot Community Health and Counseling, which has not been sued directly. The mother returned there with the child in August, November and December. The child had bruises that should have led clinic personnel to question whether he was in an abusive environment, the complaint said.
It was not until Jan. 10, 2019, a few hours before the baby was permanently injured, that a note was placed in his medical chart that noted possible abuse. No one relayed that information to the mother, the complaint alleges.
Under state law, medical personnel are mandated by to report to DHHS in Maine when they suspect child abuse.
Terry Gamey, the Portland attorney representing the mother and the toddler, said Friday that any potential damages would be placed in a trust fund that could only be used for the boy’s care.
“This is about making him whole,” Gamey said. “He has a lifetime of special needs. Ms. Orduna is seeking to provide for her child for the rest of his life.”
DHHS will be defended by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland. The office does not comment on pending cases.