RALEIGH, N.C., July 30 (UPI) -- A North Carolina woman is behind bars, charged with biting her newborn, breaking the infant's ribs and shoulder blades.
Detectives with the Raleigh Police Department arrested 34-year-old Mary Martin Peele on Monday, charging the new mom with one count of felony child abuse inflicting serious injury and one count of misdemeanor child abuse.
Investigators allege Peele broke 12 of her son's ribs, both scapula bones and left a deep bite wound on the boy's shoulder. Authorities first began investigating Peele after she took the child to the hospital for his injuries.
"For the first 16 weeks of this child's life someone tortured him," Prosecutor Melanie Shekita said at Tuesday's preliminary hearing.
"I have grave concerns that if this woman had not presented him to the hospital, and I have no reason to believe that she didn't do that, that he could have ended up dead."
Peele is being held on a $400,000 bond. If convicted, she faces up to 32 years and nine months in prison.
Peele has no criminal record and worked as a nanny for years with no complaints. She plead not guilty at Tuesday's hearing.