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Wausau babysitter gets 40 years prison in infant’s death, separate abuse case

A 2-month-old boy died while being cared for by Marissa Tietsort in 2018
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 12:50 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. ( WSAW) -- The 31-year-old woman convicted of physically abusing a child she was baby sitting and causing the death of another child in her care months later will spend 40 years in prison. Marissa Tietsort was also sentenced to 20 years of extended supervision.

Police said on Oct. 18, 2018 a 2-month-old boy died while in Tietsort’s care. Police said when the boy’s mom went to get her son out of the car seat, she found him unresponsive. Police arrived at a laundromat to find the boy’s mother performing chest compressions on the baby. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to court documents, the child’s cause of death was blunt force head injuries. The boy also had a fractured tailbone. Court documents state the tailbone was broken off and displaced-- indicating a significant amount of force was used.

During an interview with police, cited in court documents, Tietsort confirmed the child died in her care, but stated she did not kill him.

Tietsort said she knew the baby had died, but still put him in his snowsuit and car seat, pulling his hat over his eyes, so his mother would not know when she picked him up. She said she did not reach out for help or perform any resuscitation efforts. Tietsort, her boyfriend, the boy’s brother and Tietsort’s own child then went to a restaurant to eat. Tietsort said when the boy’s mom came to pick up her children she knowingly let the woman take home a deceased child.

Prosecutors said this was not the first time a child was injured while in Tietsort’s care.

Oct. 11, 2018 Tietsort was charged with child abuse from an incident in August of that year. Court documents state Tietsort messaged the mom of an 11-month old child she was baby sitting saying the child had fallen off a couch and injured herself. The mother took the child to the hospital and a doctor specializing in child abuse said the injuries were not consistent with a fall.

In another case from 2017, a 3-month-old child sustained a skull fracture while under the care of Tietsort.

Tietsort pleaded no contest in November to an amended charge of first-degree reckless homicide. The charge was reduced from first-degree intentional homicide. She also pleaded no contest to child abuse intentionally causing harm. The plea deal consolidated two criminal cases. She was found guilty as result.

“October 18th, 2018, may have been the worst day of your life, but it was the last day of Bensons,” said Judge LaMont Jacobson, Marathon County.

Judge Jacobson said he took into consideration Tietsort’s prior abuse and trauma when making the determination, but said he had trouble linking it to the cases. Judge Jacobson said a series of lies after the child’s death lead to his decision.