Cary man ordered to pay restitution in shaken baby case
WOODSTOCK – Rachel Greve sat, hands cupping her pregnant belly, next to her husband, James, in a McHenry County courtroom on Friday.
Silent tears fell as the McHenry couple watched the restitution hearing before McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather. The Greves would be receiving $8,230 from the man they once trusted to care for their young daughter, Tegan.
Alvin Santiago, 30, had pleaded guilty to shaking baby Tegan, who was 3 months old at the time, with so much force that her injuries required surgery.
The judge ordered that Santiago – previously sentenced to 9 years in prison for aggravated battery of a child – give the Greves the remaining bond money posted on his behalf.
"Nobody wins in this, it isn't about the money," James Greve said outside the courtroom.
Now nearly 2 years old, Tegan still hasn't taken taken her first steps and requires physical therapy and seizure medication. She loves to color.
Santiago was caring for five infants at the time of the August 2012 incident. A former teacher and volunteer, Santiago had no prior criminal history and offered a tearful apology at an earlier sentencing hearing.
“It took me forever to accept the truth that I was capable of hurting a child and lying about it,” he said. “I do not want that to be the only truth about me.”
After he shook her, Tegan's lethargy started to worry her parents, but doctors found no outward signs of anything wrong. A month later, she was again in Santiago's care when she lost consciousness and stopped breathing.
Santiago stood by as police questioned her parents and ultimately removed the child from their custody. For two months, he didn't speak up, James Greve said.
"I've forgiven him for what he's done, it's what he didn't do after that I'll never forgive," he said.
Rachel is pregnant with the couple's second child, due in May.
"I'm completely terrified to hold a young baby," James said.
Santiago was not present at the hearing and is in custody in the Department of Corrections. With day-for-day credit, he likely will be released in four years.