Joshua Viane is the 26-year-old dad of a little girl who was born in early June, a baby who was just 3-weeks-old when, according to the charges against him, Viane committed the bizarre and horrifying acts of abuse he inflicted on his own new child. And Viane had no reason to hurt the baby, other than a strange “urge” that, for some reason, he chose to act upon.
According to a news report on Milwaukee TV station WITI, Viane and his wife, Amanda, who were married last year, spent the day on June 30 at Summerfest, a massive, 11-day music festival in Milwaukee that features 800 different performing acts and is attended by 900,000 people.
And, not unusually for attendees at any music festival, while he was there, Joshua Viane downed a few beers.
According to a criminal complaint against him, Viane woke up on July 1 with a hangover — and a bizarre “urge.” He later told investigators he had an overwhelming compulsion to “squeeze the baby tightly.”
But not “tightly” as in a comforting parental hug. Viane squeezed his helpless infant daughter so hard “that her face turned red and her eyes became bloodshot,” according to the criminal complaint.
The violent squeezing also broke the tiny baby’s ribs in several places.
But that wasn’t the last of Viane’s grotesque and frightening urges. He next had an urge to force his index finger as far down the baby’s throat as he could. So, the young dad committed that horrifying violation against his own child as well, according to police.
The complaint against Viane, which also stated that the baby’s genital area displayed bruising, says that Viane told the police, after he was arrested on July 2, that he had experienced the macabre urges for years, but in the past two years, the urges have “intensified.”
It appears that after he fathered his own child, he acted on his urges.
Viane has been charged with several child abuse charges, including intentionally causing great bodily harm to a child, abuse with the high probability of causing great harm, and intentionally causing harm. He was held on $150,000 bail.
But one mental health expert says the sickening case could have been stopped before the child was forced to suffer.
“I’m not surprised. I’m saddened. It’s completely preventable,” said Parenting Network Executive Director Joyce Felker.
She said that Viane, or anyone experiencing such disturbing thoughts, should call her group’s parenting hotline before acting the urges.
“We’re available 24/7 — so that if somebody has an urge or something like that and they say, ‘okay, I don’t want to hurt this precious baby,’ call us and we’ll talk you through it and get you some help,” she said.
The Joshua Viane incident came just a week before a woman in Texas faced charges that she shot her two young sons repeatedly with a BB gun and locked them in a closet for days with almost no food.
The criminal complaint made no mention of any documented mental health issues experienced by Joshua Viane, but Felker said that the remaining social stigma against mental illness could prevent someone in his position from seeking the proper care and treatment.
[Image: Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office]