A father who inflicted a brain bleed on his infant daughter has been sentenced in the 2019 incident which occurred in The Villages.
Benjamin Weingard, 35, whose address is 1107 Saldivar Road in the Village of Santo Domingo, has been placed on one year of community control and five years probation after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted aggravated child abuse earlier this month in Sumter County Court. A charge of aggravated child abuse was dismissed in exchange for the plea.
The Department of Children and Families contacted the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in June 2019 after the then-four-month-old female was taken to The Villages Regional Hospital. The baby suffered seizures and was transferred to Nemours Children’s Medical Center in Orlando.
Weingard and the baby’s mother were interviewed at the hospital in Orlando and summoned the following day to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office at Pinellas Plaza in The Villages.
Weingard said the baby had been “fussy” and was repeatedly waking him up. He said he “did not understand” why the baby was crying as she had been “fed, changed and burped,” according to an arrest report.
He admitted he had “squeezed” the baby and realized it was “excessive.” He said he had squeezed the baby against his chest and then noticed she had become “rigid.”
The mother told investigators at the time that they employed a nanny six days a week for several hours at a time so that Weingard could rest and get his school work done.
Earlier this year, Weingard won permission to have supervised visits with the little girl at the homes of her grandparents, which are located in the Village of Santo Domingo and the Village of Calumet Grove.