Authorities: 9-month-old dead after horrific sexual assault

A nine-month-old West Virginia girl died after sustaining horrific injuries during a sexual assault at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

Benjamin Taylor, 32, was charged with murder on Thursday morning, according to Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs. Taylor was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault and was being held on $2 million bail.

The child’s mother found the nine-month-old covered in blood in the basement of the apartment complex where the couple lived on Monday morning.

She had injuries consistent with a violent sexual assault, according to Boggs.

"I’d have to say more clear cut than usual, without going into graphic details due to some of the injuries and what the guys observed when they arrived on scene," Boggs said.

Family members told the West Virginia Metro News, the child, who is not Taylor's, was brain dead on Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint, Taylor told authorities that he took the baby to the basement while he did laundry and had no recollection of how she sustained the horrific injuries, the AP reported.

Boggs said it's hard to understand how someone could do this to a child.

“Obviously this is not something we have encountered,” he said. “I don’t think the average or below average person can comprehend or even fathom this.”

USA TODAY has reached out to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

Follow @MaryBowerman on Twitter. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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