BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The man accused of badly beating a 5-year-old and sending him to the ICU with internal damage will remain behind bars despite a judge setting his bond being at $7,500.
The child was rushed to the hospital back in October of 2019, reportedly coughing up blood. Arrest records show doctors found a number of bruises on his back, legs, chest, and eyes, but also discovered awful internal damage to some of his organs.
“The allegations are difficult to imagine, but it’s ones that we’re going to deal with and we’ll take it one step at a time,” said East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore.
The 19th Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirms to the 9News Investigators that Darius Lewis, 28, will not be able to get out of prison at the moment because he’s currently on parole for a prior drug charge, which means no bond will be accepted.
"He was out on parole and so we’ve asked that he be held until this matter is resolved on a parole hold,” Moore added.
The 9News Investigators have also learned Lewis has a history of alleged abuse in his past. According to records, he has been in and out of court on various violent charges over the last decade.
He was previously arrested on charges of false imprisonment while armed with a weapon and domestic abuse battery.
A source tells WAFB’s Scottie Hunter those charges were later dismissed because the victim, through her attorney, denied the claims. Lewis was allowed to instead plead guilty to a misdemeanor disturbing the peace charge in 2018.
While not speaking directly about this case, WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked Moore if when victims change their stories, does it allow violence to potentially happen again?
“Sure, because they may have been charged with a more serious offense and we cannot prove the more serious offense,” said Moore. “We can only prove a misdemeanor offense or not be able to prove anything at all.”
The 9News Investigators also found a protective order issued against Lewis after the alleged abuse. Once he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, records show he was sentenced to 90 days behind bars and ordered to complete a domestic violence program. The protective order was dismissed once the charges were dropped.
“There’s no more of that legal protection and you’ve seen in the past where you reported ladies who did go through and did obtain a protective order where harm can still come to them and sometimes they can be killed with protective orders,” said Moore.
He was also arrested in 2010 for armed robbery. According to arrest records, Lewis allegedly asked to borrow a phone from a man he knew at a gas station. After the man allowed him to use the phone and asked for it back, the report says Lewis then allegedly pulled out a gun and threatened the man.
In a desperate attempt to get away, the report says the man hit a pole as he drove out of the gas station parking lot. A source tells the 9News Investigators the victim later chose not to cooperate with the investigation.
In 2009, Lewis was also arrested on charges of attempted second degree murder and principal to attempted second degree murder.
A source tells WAFB’s Scottie Hunter the case never went to court due to insufficient evidence linking Lewis to the crime.
While he sits behind bars accused of child abuse, Moore says he cannot help but think about the kid who was hurt and the other children who witnessed it.
“It’s a very difficult situation,” Moore added.