Sentencing delayed for Salem teen convicted of sexually assaulting baby

MARION COUNTY — The pre-sentencing report has been filed, but a Wednesday sentencing hearing has been continued for a 17-year-old Salem man convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-month-old baby girl in his mother’s care.

Justin Atteberry (Source: MCSO)
Justin Atteberry
(Source: MCSO)

Justin Atteberry was charged in December 2015 with Class X felony aggravated criminal sexual assault resulting in bodily harm, after Salem police and the Department of Children and Family Services conducted an investigation into injuries that sent the baby girl first to Salem Township Hospital and then to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Atteberry was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Marion County Court, however, the unavailability of Judge Allen Lolie resulted in sentencing being postponed. The case is now scheduled for a November 29, status hearing.

In August Atteberry filed an open plea of guilty to the Class X charge, which is punishable by between 6 and 30 years in prison.

An open plea does not provide the defendant with guaranteed sentence limits. Sentencing is expected to take all afternoon.

Following his arrest, Atteberry reportedly admitted during a videotaped interview to performing acts on the baby using a Matchbox type car that resulted in the injuries noted at the hospitals.

State’s Attorney Matt Wilzbach said Atteberry’s mother was an at-home childcare provider in Salem, and the victim was one of her clients.