Mother arrested on charges relating to alleged neglect of infant daughter

Ashley Sterner

BERKS COUNTY, Pa. — A 29-year-old woman was arrested Monday on charges relating to the alleged neglect of her infant daughter, according to the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.

Ashley Sterner was arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person, court documents show. She has since been released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

An investigation into the incident began in January, when the Berks County Detectives Office received a Childline Referral from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services regarding a child that has been neglected and suffered from an extreme case of “failure to thrive.”

Sterner allegedly failed to take her daughter to scheduled medical appointments from October 24, 2018 to January 4 — the baby was born five days prior to her first appointment.

When Sterner did, however, the pediatrician directed her to take her daughter to the hospital.

The DA’s Office says the infant was admitted into the hospital weighing approximately five pounds and 14 ounces — shortly after birth, she weighed six pounds and four ounces.

According to the DA’s Office, an attending physician at the hospital said that this was one of the worst cases she has ever seen, describing four stages, in which the infant was at Stage #4 (see below):

Stage #1 – not gaining weight
Stage #2 – losing weight
Stage #3 – stop growing in length
Stage #4 – head stops growing.

The attending physician concluded that the baby would not have survived without medical intervention and described her as “skin and bones,” the DA’s Office stated.

The DA’s Office said that the infant was medically discharged after spending 10 days at the hospital weighing seven pounds and eights ounces.

Sterner now faces charges.

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