According to the court documents, the 27-year-old dad, Joshua, put his 4-year-old stepson in a bathtub of near-boiling hot water. Prosecutors said the child suffered burns over more than one-third of his body. The stepfather admitted to burning the little boy and was sentenced to 40 years in a state correctional facility. The 27-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury. He also pleaded to a sentencing enhancement based on previous convictions on charges of se-ual assault and burglary of a habitation.
According to the court documents, this unfortunate incident occurred on May 26, 2022. Child Protective Services contacted the Sheriff’s Department regarding a 4-year-old boy who had been brought to a hospital to treat severe burns. The boy, who was not identified due to his age, was admitted to the hospital, intubated, and placed on a ventilator due to his injuries. Authorities said he required multiple surgeries and skin grafts due to the burns. Hospital staff told authorities that the 4-year-old boy suffered burns over more than one-third of his body. According to the doctors, the burns included the entirety of both of his legs, feet, and buttocks, as well as a portion of his right arm. The doctor also noted that most of the burns sustained by the child were third-degree burns that were likely the result of forceful immersion.
During an interview with investigators, the victim’s mom reportedly said that when she arrived home from work, her son was wrapped in a towel that hid his injuries. When she removed his towel and revealed the victim’s injuries, she immediately Joshua to call 911 and the child was transported to the hospital. During an interview with investigators, the 27-year-old stepfather blamed the 4-year-old, claiming the boy sustained the burns when he bumped into the stove, accidentally spilling a pot of hot water on himself.
But, the boy’s babysitter reportedly told investigators that while the mother was out, the boy went to the bathroom. The babysitter then told Joshua to clean the boy. Joshua then undressed the little boy, ran a hot bath and went into the bathroom with the child. Joshua then left the child and went to play video games. The 27-year-old stepfather then returned to the bathroom and yelled at the boy, while the 4-year-old victim was crying. Hospital staff told investigators that the boy’s injuries were likely the result of him being held down in the dangerously hot water by force.