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Augusta man sentenced to prison for beating 3-year-old with belt

Child abuse case ends with prison

Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 5:18 PM
Last updated 8:11 PM
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Stephen J. Sanchez said Thursday he knew it was wrong to take a belt to his girlfriend’s 3-year-old after the boy knocked over his guitar.

Sanchez, 23, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to cruelty to children. His attorney, Penelope Donkar, of the public defender’s office, told the judge she understood that Sanchez didn’t have a chance for probation alone and so asked for a sentence of less than three years in prison.

Judge J. Wade Padgett sentenced Sanchez to 10 years in prison. followed by 10 years on probation.

Sanchez had no history of violence. He had a GED, worked and had plans to continue his education, Donkar said. Sanchez didn’t intend to hurt the boy but the discipline was excessive, she said.

Teachers at the boy’s preschool saw bruises and scars and called the sheriff’s office, said Assistant District Attorney Titus Nichols. Sanchez admitted to an investigator that he hit the boy with a belt on two occasions after the child knocked over his guitar, Nichols said. The second time, the boy tried to run and hide in his room but Sanchez caught him. Nichols showed pictures of the child to the judge.

Padgett asked Sanchez whether he had ever been so badly beaten that the skin broke on his buttocks and scabbed over. He had, Sanchez said.

One would go to prison for beating a dog like that, and this was a 3-year-old boy, Padgett said. Sanchez and his girlfriend failed to seek medical treatment for the child.

“This was a tragedy for the child, as well as for you,” Padgett told the defendant.

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IBeDogGone 09/12/13 - 08:23 pm
What about the Mama

If she knew he beat her baby and she did not report him or seek medical treatment for her son she needs to be charged also. When are parents going to learn to protect their child not their partner?

harley_52 09/12/13 - 09:47 pm
Judge Padgett... it right.

Good for him.

Marinerman1 09/13/13 - 08:25 am
Okay Ashley

Now that boyfriend has admitted to beating the child TWICE over a flippin' guitar, and Mom knew about the beatings as well as not seeking medical attention -- WHEN ARE CHARGES GOING TO FILED AGAINST Mom ?? Hopefully there is a family member that can take custody of the child. He deserves better. Both adults are excrement. With any luck, Stephen will be crying himself to sleep shortly. We must make sure the inmates know why he is there. Mommy needs to be in the women's pod. Good job Judge Padgett.

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