A 21-year-old Oakdale man appeared in Antelope County Court Wednesday, June 5, for arraignment on charges of intentional child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm.

A warrant for the arrest of Christofer N. Carstens was signed by Honorable Judge Donna Taylor, Tuesday, June 4. He was taken into custody and is lodged in the Antelope County Jail.

Carstens is represented by court-appointed counsel Pat Carney.

The Class II felony carries a maximum sentence of 50-years imprisonment to a minimum of one year.

The case was set for preliminary hearing on June 19 with bond set at $500,000, 10 percent. Carstens was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim or the victim’s mother. 

According to court documents, the matter stems from an investigation due to injuries sustained by Carsten’s six-week-old biological daughter. 

A 911 call was placed to the Antelope County Sheriff’s office Saturday, May 25, at 12:30 p.m. with a report of the infant suffering seizures.

The child was transported to Antelope Memorial Hospital and subsequently air lifted to Children’s Hospital in Omaha, where she remains.

In a report, filed by Antelope County Sheriff Robert Moore, Carstens admitted to becoming frustrated with his daughter and tossed her up in the air with her head hitting the ceiling. According to the report, he also advised he became frustrated because child would not stop crying and he “held her with his hands under her armpits and shook her,” on Friday, May 24.

According to the report, the child’s mother repeatedly suggested the infant be taken to the hospital with Carstens saying the child had allergies. 

The police report indicated the child suffered head trauma and was noted to have various broken bones, allegedly occurring at different times. 

Custody of the child has been placed with the Department of Health and Human Services. 

During a juvenile petition hearing for the infant, Wednesday, Taylor ordered custody of the child be given to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services with no contact allowed by Carstens, the child’s mother or any family members. 

The child’s mother has denied allegations of neglect and failing to provide proper and necessary care. She is represented by court-appointed counsel Ryan Stover. 

Carstens requested additional time before entering a plea.

The matter was continued to July 3.

Jeffrey Doerr, of Neligh, has been appointed as guardian-ad-lidem for the child.

Taylor ordered the mother may receive daily reports from Children’s Hospital on the child’s condition.

(Editor’s note: The mother’s identity is not being revealed to protect the identity of the child.)


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