Riverton Man Pleads Guilty To Breaking Newborn Twin Daughters’ Legs 

Anthony Long pleaded guilty on Thursday in Fremont County District Court and admitted to two counts of child abuse which resulted in his twin daughters' legs being broken. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Clair McFarland

March 02, 20234 min read

Anthony Long

By Clair McFarland, General Assignment Reporter 

A Riverton man accused of breaking his newborn twin daughters’ legs pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of child abuse.   

Anthony Long will be sentenced at a later date. He faces up to 20 years in prison, 10 for each child abuse count dating back to when he was first charged in November.   

During his change of plea hearing Thursday, Long told Fremont County District Court Judge Jason Conder how he believed the infants’ injuries occurred.   

“It was approximately, I’d say two or three o’clock in the morning, and me and my wife woke up to feed and change them,” said Long. He said he was changing one of the twins and “she kept kicking free of my hand.”  

So he grabbed her with his thumb, index finger and middle finger, Long said. “I went to pull her leg so I could clean her private parts and I believe I not only pulled but I also accidentally twisted. And I believe I heard, like, a pop.”   

In the morning the baby’s leg was swollen and Long’s wife took her to the hospital, where personnel contacted authorities about the child abuse.   

The twins were about 24 days old.   

Scratches, Broken Ribs  

Long’s defense attorney Jon Gerard asked Long how the infant got scratches behind her ear. Gerard was asking Long questions about the offenses to help guide Long through the elements of each charge that he had to prove by his own account in order to plead guilty.   

“She was coughing up through her mouth and some milk was coming out of her nose,” said Long. “And I believe it was my finger – my nail on my finger – scraped her ear.”   

Gerard asked how the baby’s ribs were broken.   

Long said he thought he swaddled her too tightly.   

“They kept waking up in the middle of the night because they were breaking free of their swaddles, so I thought if I swaddled them tighter they’d sleep longer,” said Long. “That’s what caused that.”   

The infant’s black eye, said Long, occurred when she reared back during a burping and when he tried to pull her forward there was too much momentum and she ran into his temple.   

‘Slightly Clipped The Wall’  

The other twin also had broken bones and injuries.   

Long said he caused wrist injuries to his other daughter by putting her wrists together so she wouldn’t move around too much during changing.   

“I believe I just squeezed too hard,” he said.   

Long attributed the girl’s leg fracture to an accidental bump against the wall.   

“Her leg clipped the wall when, in the middle of the night, when I was taking her to the bathroom to get this suction nose cleaner – some milk was coming out of her nose,” he said. “Her leg just slightly clipped the wall and I believe that’s the only thing that could cause that.”   

Recklessly, Not Intentionally  

Child abuse in Wyoming is chargeable if the abuse is inflicted intentionally, but also if it’s inflicted recklessly.   

Long said he acted recklessly.   

“Do you dispute that you did recklessly cause these injuries to these children?” asked Gerard.   

“No I don’t dispute that,” answered Long, whose breath quivered intermittently throughout his testimony.

He originally pleaded not guilty in December but in a Jan. 27 plea agreement, Long agreed to change to the guilty plea. The plea agreement doesn’t promise a sentencing cap for Long, which leaves him and the case prosecutor able to argue any sentence between zero and 20 years in prison.  

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter