Youth Services detectives are investigating an apparent case of severe child abuse involving a 6-month-old girl, Metro police officials said Wednesday afternoon.
In connection with the incident, police Wednesday arrested Robert Simmons on two counts of violating the provisions of the state’s sex offender registry law. Simmons is charged with violating the statutory prohibition that prevents him from residing with minors (due to his conviction), and with failing to report his true address, as required by law, to the Board of Probation and Parole.
On Tuesday, North Precinct officers were called to Room 132 of the Hallmark Inn on West Trinity Lane at 6:50 p.m. on a report of an unresponsive child who was not breathing. Officer Michael Hotz arrived and found that the baby, Heaven Hamilton, had no detectable pulse or respirations. Heaven was rushed to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with extreme head trauma. The child is in critical condition.
An investigation by Youth Services Detectives Tom Rollins and Mike Clark revealed that Simmons, the boyfriend of Heaven’s mother, Rose Hamilton, babysat Heaven Tuesday while Hamilton was away. During the day, Simmons was also watching three other children, ages 4, 3 and 1, who were staying at the motel. When Hamilton returned to the motel room, she found that Heaven was in distress with a swollen head and called for help, police said.
Simmons, 35, is a convicted sex offender who received a six-year sentence in 2006 for attempted aggravated sexual battery against a child under the age of 13. In connection with that conviction, Simmons is subject to community supervision for life under the authority of the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.
Detectives interviewed Simmons on Tuesday night and Wednesday. He remains under investigation in connection with the injuries suffered by Heaven and is being held in the Metro Jail in lieu of $60,000 bond. State Probation and Parole is in the process of obtaining a warrant charging Simmons with violating the probation he received in relation to his conviction last July for violating the state’s sex offender registry law.