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Brentwood teacher, husband charged with abuse of baby

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By Margaret Harding
Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

Baldwin Borough police have charged a Brentwood High School French teacher and her husband with abusing their baby when he was 10 weeks old.

Stephanie, 31, and Scott Faust, 35, of Baldwin were each charged Wednesday with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Brentwood Schools Superintendent Ronald Dufalla said Stephanie Faust has been removed from the classroom pending further developments. He would not comment further.

Police became suspicious after being called to the couple's home June 8 and finding the baby with a broken arm, Chief Michael Scott said. Scott Faust told police he grabbed the baby boy's arm to keep him from slipping off his lap and hitting the floor, and he heard it snap, the police chief said.

The child was taken to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville, where doctors told police the injury didn't match Faust's explanation, Scott said.

Doctors examined the baby and found he was healing from broken ribs and numerous other injuries, including head trauma, Scott said.

"The explanation for everything else was just that the baby's bones are weak," Scott said.

After the June incident, the Office of Children, Youth and Families was notified and a relative had to be with the baby and his 2-year-old sister at all times, Scott said. Police consulted with doctors and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office before charging the couple, Scott said.

Both parents were charged because they told police the baby was never alone with anyone else, and any time the child was with one parent, the other was there, Scott said.

The couple's lawyer, Patrick Thomassey, said the child has a rare brittle bone disease known as osteogenesis imperfecta.

"They can fall down and literally end up with fractures," Thomassey said. "It always ends with these unexplained injuries, and people will go to jail. It's very difficult to establish in children. We've had this baby to a number of physicians, and I'm going to show this child has this condition."

The children are in the care of their grandmother, Scott said. The girl had no evidence of injuries, Scott said.

The Fausts were released from Allegheny County Jail Wednesday night, Thomassey said. Both parents are distraught, he added.

"These two people have never been in trouble in their lives," Thomassey said. "They take care of their children."

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