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3-year-old boy on life support; mother, step-father face assault charges

Donald and Alison Bovio (Seneca Falls Police)

Police in Seneca Falls say a mother and a step-father face assault charges for an alleged assault of a 3-year-old boy.

Seneca Falls Police Chief Stuart Peenstra said Donald Bovio and Alison Bovio, both 38, were arrested late Monday night on charges of first-degree assault.

The charges come after an investigation into a medical call 911 received from Donald Bovio reporting a child had fallen down a flight of stairs, according to Peenstra. Police said the child, a 3-year-old boy, was unresponsive and had substantial trauma to his head and body.

The boy was flown to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse for treatment. As of Tuesday afternoon, the child is in critical condition and on life support.

Peenstra said during the treatment at the hospital, it was determined the boy's injuries were not consistent with a fall. After an investigation by Seneca Falls Police, Seneca County Child Protective Services (CPS) and New York State Police were brought into the investigation as well.

Court documents obtained by CNYCentral state that both suspects allegedly struck the victim "with a belt numerous times and intentionally caused his head to strike a hard floor surface."

This apparently caused the victim to become unconscious. Documents also said the victim was unable to breathe on his own and he has bleeding "bleeding on his brain."

The child is unresponsive and has no brain activity as a result of these injuries, the documents say.

These incidents allegedly happened at 25 Peterman Road Apartment 2A in the Town of Seneca Falls.

As he left family court Tuesday afternoon, Donald Bovio denied beating the boy. When asked if he felt remorse, Bovio replied, "Yes I do."

Both Donald and Alison Bovio are being held at the Seneca County Correctional Facility on $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond, according to police. Prosecutors said more charges are possible as the investigation continues.

Police said the couple moved to the Seneca Falls area about two months ago from Salem, Massachusetts. Donald Bovio has an "extensive criminal history." Alison Bovio has no prior criminal history, according to police.

Donald and Alison Bovio are scheduled to be back in court on May 18 at 5:30 p.m.

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