CARNEGIE, Pa. (KDKA) — A Scott Township man charged with abusing his 2-month-old son, causing skull and rib fractures, appeared in court.
Michael Koban and his wife Ashley Koban — who is also facing charges after text messages showed she knew about the alleged abuse — asked for a postponement Thursday.
Their defense attorney claims the charges are an overreaction.
On Sept. 3, Scott Township Police responded to a home on Bower Hill Road with a medical rescue team after a 911 call was made for a 2-month-old boy that fell in the house.
Police say the baby’s father, Michael Koban, was the only adult home at the time. He was with the infant and the baby’s 17-month-old brother.
When Michael Koban was interview by the police, he told them he went into the kitchen to make the baby a bottle when he heard the infant and toddler crying.
Michael Koban told police when he returned, the baby was on the floor with a bump on his head, and he believed the toddler may have accidentally pulled the baby out of the infant swing.
According to Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center, the baby had a partial skull fracture, an intracranial hemorrhage, and multiple fractured ribs in different stages of healing — ranging from two weeks to five weeks.
The mother, Ashley Koban, is charged with endangering the welfare of children and obstruction in child abuse cases after police searched her cell phones and found several text messages from her to who police say is her sister.
Michael Koban is charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The couple’s attorney said the injuries are a result of a medical condition, not abuse.
“These people love their child,” defense attorney Wendy Williams said. “This is their fourth child. They would never hurt their son.”
Police have built part of the case based on these text messages from Ashley Koban, which in part say:
“Mike is tough, but never thought rough enough to break bones.”
“I have to work and have no one to watch them. I’m sick the whole time I’m gone. The fact that I can’t trust my husband/their father with them is sickening.”
“They’re taken out of context,” Williams said. “Every marriage has issues. And I would say put that in context, there would be no problem with those. I would say it’s not evidence their father caused injuries.”
As for the injuries, Williams said there was a rush to judgment.
“My experience is, most of these cases, there’s a medical cause for the children’s injuries,” Williams said. “The Child Advocacy Center and (the Office of Children, Youth and Families) do not do a proper investigation before they go out and ruin people’s lives and take their children.”
Michael and Ashley Koban have been released on their own recognizance.
Their four children have been taken from them, and they return to court Oct. 31.
According to Allegheny County, Koban was a telecommunicator with the county and he is currently suspended without pay.