BAYTOWN, Texas - A Baytown man was being held without bond Thursday on two counts of injury to a child. One of the children suffered bruises all over her body and burns to her feel, allegedly from a cigarette lighter, according to Baytown Police.
Nicholas Rivers, 23, is accused of abusing children he had agreed to babysit. According to investigators, Rivers broke a 15-month-old's arm in February 2016. He was arrested Wednesday on a charge stemming from an incident that is reported to have occurred in April.
"Scarlett was covered in all kinds of bruising," said Alex Schilling, father of Scarlett Schilling, who was 11 months old when Rivers is accused of having abused her.
Schilling and Jessica Bryant are Scarlett's parents. They told Houston's KPRC 2 that they lived with Rivers, who, according to probable cause, was a stay-at-home father and agreed to watch Schilling and Bryant's two daughters.
Schilling said he noticed bruises on Scarlett's body and burns on the bottom her of feet after Rivers had been taking care of her. According to court documents, Schilling noticed the injuries on April 28.
"There was a 1.3 millimeter laceration on her liver from blunt force trauma to the abdomen," Schilling said.
Schilling and Bryant said they brought Scarlett to her primary care physician, who recommended them to Texas Children's Hospital. The couple then confronted Rivers.
"As soon as [Rivers'] answer was, 'I don't know what happened,' I said, 'No we are getting out of here,'" Schilling said.
But the alleged abuse of their daughter marked only the beginning of Schilling and Bryant's troubles. The couple said CPS took custody of their two daughters, Scarlett and Violet, because the abuse occurred where they lived.
"It's all been very heartbreaking, because we don't have our kids because of all this," Jessica Bryant said.
Bryant and Schilling hope that Rivers' arrest will be helpful in their fight to regain custody of their two daughters.
In the meantime, Baytown Police told KPRC 2 that Rivers had already been arrested and investigated on suspicion of child abuse.
Baytown Police arrested Rivers in February, when he was accused of breaking a child's arm, according to police.
"He was bonded out and went back to babysitting," said Lt. Steve Dorris, Baytown Police.
Jessica Bryant and Alex Schilling wish they had known about Rivers' alleged past sooner. They expressed relief over his arrest.
"It gives us all a little piece of mind that he won't be able to do this to anyone else's kid," Schilling said.