BLOOMINGTON — Abuse and neglect charges filed in civil court against a Bloomington father accused of seriously injuring his infant daughter have been dropped by the state, a move that allows the family to be reunited while he challenges criminal charges related to the allegations.
In May, Matthew Everly was charged in criminal court with aggravated battery to a child, domestic battery and reckless conduct. The 2-week-old girl suffered two broken legs and a broken arm, according to the charges.
A separate case was filed in child welfare court related to the baby’s injuries. The medical issues were discovered by the parents who sought medical attention, according to authorities. The baby was living at home with her mother, who did not face criminal charges.
Everly was allowed supervised visitation, but has returned home since dismissal of the abuse charges in the civil case that was dropped by the state on Nov. 15 without assigning any responsibility to the father. No reason was given for the state's decision.
On Nov. 19, Judge Casey Costigan lifted restrictions that barred Everly from having contact with children outside his family. The ruling came in response to a request from defense lawyer Scott Kording to have the limitations removed.
Kording said the restrictions, that were a condition of Everly’s release on bond, have made it difficult for the 26-year-old, a former associate pastor of worship at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, to secure employment.
The state opposed the request to have the no-contact orders lifted.
Everly has denied the allegations that could send him to prison for 60 years if convicted on the most serious of the charges.
A Dec. 20 bench trial is scheduled on the criminal charges.