Pierce County prosecutors Friday charged a Parkland man with raping and assaulting his girlfriend’s 1-year-old daughter.
Thomas Randle Babler, 26, pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to counts of second-degree assault and first-degree child rape. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
Babler, a former soldier, was arrested Tuesday after the girl’s mother took her to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where doctors suspected abuse.
He originally told the girl’s mother and detectives that the girl suffered her injuries, which included a skull fracture, when she fell off the couch and hit her head on the floor.
Detectives questioned Babler again after conducting an investigation, and he admitted he hurt the girl during a violent rage he sometimes has in his sleep. He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and had attacked previous girlfriends in his sleep.
“I did it in my sleep,” Babler allegedly told detectives. “I knocked her off the bed, and she hit the (expletive) water heater in my bedroom.”
Prosecutors said there was evidence the girl had been sexually assaulted as well, but Babler denied knowledge of raping the girl.
Babler and the girl’s mother had been dating for about a month, and she sometimes asked him to watch the girl while she went to school, court records state. Such was the case Tuesday, court records show.