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Boyfriend charged with child abuse in Brighton shaken baby case, detailed by police in court

Posted at 2:52 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 17:29:36-04

HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) — Chilling details have emerged in a shaken baby case out of Livingston County.

Twenty-one-year-old Luke Sementelli has been formally charged with 3 counts of child abuse, 3rd Degree and 2nd Degree and is facing up to ten years in prison.

He was arrested at Children’s Hospital in Detroit after a 14-month-old baby named Johnathan was transferred in after being taken to a hospital in Brighton with bruises, he was also unresponsive and limp.

Sementelli is the boyfriend of the mother and she is pregnant with his child.

During a court hearing this afternoon in Howell, Brighton Police told the Magistrate what their investigation has uncovered, that they took two statements from Sementelli the first one inside Children’s Hospital.

That he:

  • Cried as he started talking with police
  • Said he tried to make the child understand
  • Said he gets upset when he is rejected as the baby’s new father
  • He didn’t mean to hurt the baby
  • Pushed him down and he hit is head 3 times
  • He has bitten the child on his ear, arm, fingers and feet

In a second interview at the Brighton Police Department after waiving his Miranda Rights, Sementelli demonstrated on an anatomically correct doll how he spanked the child and shook the child in a rough manner when he wasn’t responding to get him to act right.

Sementelli said he’s been the father since May.

The baby’s mother Serena Van Sickle has also told her mother that she argued with Sementelli and that she was slapped and hit in the abdomen and inner side of her legs. She is pregnant with his baby. She told her mother they fight over money.

Doctors have determined the injuries on the 14-month-old are not accidental and are consistent with the description given to police by Sementelli.

A judge ordered he be held on a $250,000 cash bond. It was revealed in court that he faced domestic violence and drug charges in Forida last year.

Second degree child abuse is a 10 year felony. Third degree child abuse is a 2 year felony.