Charges: Aitkin Co. father threw infant across the room for crying

Children less than a year old are abused more often than any other age.
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An Aitkin County man has been charged with throwing his 5-week-old daughter across the room and killing her.

According to the complaint, 33-year-old John Douglas Peterson of Palisade had been with the child on Nov. 18. Peterson eventually told officials he lost his temper when the child started screaming and threw her "like a basketball approximately 12 feet through the air into the kitchen."

The complaint said the infant landed on her back and skidded across the floor approximately a foot before the back of her head struck the lip on the bottom of the cupboards.

Peterson is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday. He's facing a second degree murder charge which has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Child abuse facts

According to the 2014 Minnesota Child Welfare Report released last year, there were more than 72,000 cases of child maltreatment that year. Almost all the offenders were the kids' biological parents.

The data shows children less than a year old are abused more often than any other age.

In 2014, there were 19 deaths in Minnesota that were caused by maltreatment. Nationally, about 1,580 children died from abuse and neglect that same year.

A report by the Children's Bureau says about 72 percent of fatalities are caused by neglect and about 42 percent are related to physical abuse.

If you think a child is being abused or neglected, you can either report it to area police or your county social services agency. If it's an emergency, dial 911.

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