Police: Toddler on life support after beating by mother, stepfather

After an investigation, Donald and Alison Bovio were arrested and charged with first-degree assault. (Photo: Seneca Falls PD)

Seneca Falls, N.Y. (WHAM) - State Police said a mother and stepfather were arrested for severely beating a three-year-old boy in Seneca Falls.

The boy is currently on life support at Upstate Medical Center.

On May 12, Seneca Falls Police said they were called to an apartment on Peterman Road around 11:40 p.m. for the report of a child who had fallen down the stairs. The boy was taken to Upstate Medical Center to be treated.

While at the hospital, police say doctors found the boy's injuries were not consistent with a fall. After an investigation by Seneca Falls Police, Seneca County Child Protective Services (CPS) and New York State Police were brought into the investigation as well.

"It's a horrific scene that we had to process," Seneca Falls Police Chief Stuart Peenstra said. "It's tough on all of us going through this, all the way from the medical staff to fire personnel that showed up - LifeNet. "It's difficult to see this type of injury to a child, but we do everything we can to make sure justice is brought to this 3-year-old boy."

Donald and Alison Bovio - both 38 - were arrested and charged with first-degree assault. Allison is the boy's biological mother; Donald is the stepfather.

Court documents state Alison and Donald beat the boy with a belt multiple times, "intentionally causing his head to strike a hard floor surface."

The boy was then knocked unconscious. Court documents also state that the boy is unable to breathe on his own and has brain bleeding.

"The victim is unresponsive and has no brain activity as a result of the injuries," court documents further allege.

Both Alison and Donald face up to 25 years in state prison if convicted of the assault charges.

Additional charges against both suspects are pending.

Police had been to the home previously for a follow-up CPS case that began in Massachusetts. The couple had moved from that state about two months ago.

Investigators said Donald has an extensive criminal history. They are working with police in Massachusetts to learn more about him.

Donald and Alison Bovio were arraigned in Seneca Falls Town Court and remanded to the Seneca County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 cash bail each. They are scheduled to be back in court on May 18 at 5:30 p.m.

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