A Rapid City man accused of beating a 1-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Monday to aggravated child abuse. Robert R. Arguello, 39, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He was released from Pennington County Jail on $20,000 bond.
Court records say Arguello turned himself in on April 23, a day after Rapid City Regional Hospital summoned police officers to see a child who “looked like she had been severely beaten.”
Investigators documented swelling on the toddler’s face, eyes, lips and forehead, as well as bruises on her face, forehead, arms, legs, buttocks, head and shoulder, according to police reports filed at the Pennington County Courthouse.
“Her entire face was swollen and purple with bruising. Her eyes were swollen shut and upper and lower lips were swollen with some dried blood on her lips,” one report said. “According to the nurse, some of her hair was pulled out.”
Family members told officers that Arguello had been assaulted earlier in April and not been the same since. The defendant’s mother, Anna Arguello, said that his speech was slurred, his balance was off and he said things that did not make sense.
Arguello also is involved in a separate case of alleged juvenile abuse and neglect. Those records are sealed from the public.