Parents of Conjoined Twins Accused of Child Abuse

A Mankato couple is accused of physically abusing one of their formerly conjoined twins who were surgically separated at Mayo Clinic.

Valerie James, 19, and Robert Heck III, 26, are charged with one count each of felony first-degree assault and aiding and abetting the alleged crime.

Heck denied the allegations, but said he would not comment further until he talked to his attorney.

According to the complaint, doctors found eight fractures of the boy's legs -- as well as 16 rib fractures -- when the infant was returned to Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital in Rochester.

Police say the parents have not been arrested or jailed and both children are in supervised care away from the parents.

The twin boys were born joined face-to-face at the abdomen last November and underwent immediate separation surgery, which was successful. One infant was released in January, and the other boy remains hospitalized.

The couple also has another child.