A Lethbridge couple is facing charges after their infant daughter was beaten and sexually assaulted for weeks, investigators say.
The Lethbridge Police Service issued a statement saying the 52-year-old father and 31-year-old mother made their first court appearance Friday. The two remain in custody.
According to investigators in the southern Alberta city, which is roughly 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary, officers responded Wednesday to a report of a six-week-old girl being abused.
Police found the child in medical distress, with both her parents in the home. An ambulance brought the girl to hospital, where she remains in critical condition.
"There's no doubt it's going to impact the community, especially when we're dealing with somebody this age," said Staff Sgt. Pete Christos, with the service's criminal investigation section, at a news conference Friday afternoon.
According to investigators, the child had suffered extensive injuries while being physically and sexually abused since the time of her birth.
The father is facing charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual interference and failing to provide the necessaries of life, police say.
The mother is charged with a single count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
The parents were not named so as to protect the identity of the child.
"In this case, we're dealing with a victim who is extremely vulnerable," Christos said, adding it's important for community members to speak up when they see abuse.
"Otherwise, we may not know about it," he said.
Police say they don't believe there are any other victims. The investigation into the abuse remains ongoing.
The police service has wellness programs available to officers who might have been traumatized while helping the abused child, Christos said.
"They can reach out 24/7."