The Trial Court entered orders finding the minor child’s father to be an unfit parent.  His parental rights were terminated.  Father was nineteen years old.

The facts include that the child suffered a fracture to her right femur and a fracture to her left tibia.  She had been in her father’s care. It did not happen by accident.

Also, there was more neglect from father while the child was hospitalized.  The hospital staff noticed that the father had no regard for the child’s pain.  No regard for the risks of moving the child’s fractured limb.

The trial court had sentenced father to a term of seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  The appeal took place during father’s incarceration. He claimed that he was rehabilitated. He denied that it was in the child’s best interests to terminate his parental rights.

Father now testified that he accidentally fell on the child.   He had broken her leg while changing her diaper.   Father admitted that his testimony was inconsistent with the agreed factual basis presented to the court as part of father’s court guilty plea.

Father conceded that the agreed factual basis for his guilty plea had established the child’s injuries occurred when father burped the child.   In addition, father had admitted that he had given law enforcement different versions of how the minor’s injury had occurred on prior occasions.  However, he testified that he had to tell the truth now.  He did not “feel comfortable sticking to a lie.”

The court found father’s version of events incredible.  It found father unfit on depravity grounds by clear and convincing evidence.

Father appealed. The Appellate Court agreed that his rights should be terminated.

In re A.F., 2018 IL App (3d) 170826