A Tacoma man claiming his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son was a rambunctious child who bruised easily has been charged with murdering and raping the toddler.
The child died Saturday after Jake Joseph Musga, 19, babysat him for a girlfriend he met in rehab, according to the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree rape today in Pierce County Superior Court and is being held in jail on $2 million bail.
An autopsy revealed that at the child’s time of death, the toddler had a blood alcohol level of .12 and “injuries too numerous to count,” including injuries consistent with the penetration of an object, according to court papers.
Charging papers say Musga told police that he was babysitting the toddler for his girlfriend while she went out to celebrate her birthday. Musga said the child had sustained accidental injuries on March 28 and seemed to be getting more bruised and withdrawn on Friday.
While responsible for watching the toddler Friday night, Musga told police he had a drink with vodka in it that the child may have consumed while he briefly stepped out of the room. Musga said later that night, the child fell out of bed and only realized when putting his hand on the toddler’s chest that he wasn’t breathing.
Someone who saw Musga out in the apartment lobby crying and holding the child called 911, court papers say, but it was too late to save his life.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Musga is facing 22-30 years for the murder charge and 10-14 years for the rape charge. But Lindquist says, given the vulnerability of the victim, he may end up asking for an exceptional sentence that could put Musga away for life.