A Trenton woman alleges James R. Morton, Jr. of St. Clair County sexually abused and assaulted her 21-month-old daughter, according to a lawsuit filed Oct. 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs, represented by Stanley M. Brandmeyer of the Brandmeyer Law Office in New Baden, are identified as "L.C.," the mother of "M.C."

According to the complaint, the abuse occurred at a Trenton apartment L.C. and Morton shared.

"On or around March 2006, Defendant began a pattern and practice of forced sexual abuse with Plaintiff, M.C., consisting of digital penetration of the vagina of Plaintiff M.C., causing bruises and tears of the hymen…," the complaint states.

"During the same period of time, Defendant began a pattern and practice of physical abuse upon Plaintiff, M.C., consisting of using, among other things, a cigarette lighter and placing the heated cigarette lighter upon the backs of the legs and torso of the Plaintiff, M.C., causing extreme pain, blistering and scarring of the skin tissue of Plaintiff, M.C.," the complaint states.

L.C. also alleges Morton consistently struck or applied manual pressure to M.C.'s temples and forehead, causing puncture wounds to the side of her temples and bruising to her forehead and skull.

"Defendant's acts of sexual assault and battery and physical abuse as described above were carried out in secret, away from the sight and knowledge of Plaintiff, L.C., and effectively cut off Plaintiff, M.C., from her mother," the complaint states.

L.C. claims M.C. has suffered permanent, severe and continuing injuries, and has incurred medical expenses for hospitalization, psychological therapy, psychiatric therapy and medication.

She is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages, costs and a protective order preventing Morton or anyone acting on his behalf from interfering with, harassing or otherwise directly or indirectly contacting M.C. or L.C., other than through their attorney, including attempts to contact L.C. through her employer, friends or family.

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