Nurse accused of abusing infants at Meriter Hospital heads to trial

Court finds probable cause in case
Nurse accused of abusing infants at Meriter Hospital heads to trial

A former Meriter Hospital nurse facing 19 felony counts of child abuse is headed to trial, according to court records.

Christopher Kaphaem, 43, is charged with multiple counts of intentional child abuse and abuse of a patient causing great bodily harm. Court records show a total of nine babies born at Meriter were abused from March 2017 to February 2018. Kaphaem worked inside Meriter’s neonatal intensive care unit at the time.

Kaphaem was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing. He stood silent while a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Judge Nicholas McNamara heard arguments from counsel and testimony. He found probable cause to proceed, and Kapeam was bound over for trial.

Nurse accused of abusing infants at Meriter Hospital heads to trial

News 3 first reported the investigation into the nurse’s activities in February, when hospital officials discovered unexplained bruises on babies. An earlier investigation conducted by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services found five babies to have injuries ranging from bruising on arms and legs to a broken arm and a skull fracture. A criminal investigation found more victims.

Kaphaem was suspended from UnityPoint Health-Meriter following the incident, and his nursing license was suspended by the state . Meriter has said he no longer works for the hospital.

Court records do not show when Kaphaem will be in court next.

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