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Mother facing assault charges

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By Deborah Swearingen

A Lakewood woman was arrested Oct. 19 in connection with the assault of her then 2-year-old daughter.

According to the arrest affidavit, Melissa Mangeri, 28, was present during one or more of the assaults on her daughter and failed to seek assistance. This placed the child “in a situation that posed a threat of injury or death,” reads a press release from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office.

Mangeri is being held on suspicion of one felony count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the DA’s office. Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Joshua James Gonzales, was publicly sought by the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office before turning himself in Sept. 17. He is accused of seriously injuring Mangeri’s daughter earlier in September and has been charged with one count of felony child abuse with seriously bodily harm.

Gonzales is believed to have beaten the 2-year-old in the 1400 block of South Pierson Street in Lakewood on Sept. 11. Three days later, the victim, who has since turned 3, and her mother were discovered outside of Doull Elementary School in Denver. Mangeri called 911 to report her child was having a medical emergency. When medical help arrived, the child was “unresponsive and not breathing,” according to the arrest affidavit.

The toddler was transported to Denver Health Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Though she survived, the child had severe head injuries, fractured ribs and a lacerated liver. Several Denver Health doctors confirmed Mangeri’s daughter’s injuries were consistent with “physical abuse including strangulation and abusive head trauma,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Mangeri was advised of her rights Oct. 19 and is being held at the Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 bond. She will return to court Thursday at 10 a.m. to be advised of any charges filed. Gonzales, who is being held at Jeffco jail on a $100,000 bond, also returns to court Thursday. He will appear at 2 p.m. for a preliminary hearing.