Dad SERGIO SANDOVAL will be spending 10 years in prison. Where was mom while all this was going on? Working?
Published: July 23, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Dad handed 10 years for daughter’s burns
Rebecca S. Green | The Journal Gazette
FORT WAYNE – A 31-year-old father was sentenced Friday to a decade in prison for causing his daughter to suffer severe burns to her lower body from scalding bath water.
When Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck sentenced Sergio Sandoval to prison on the single charge of neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, Sandoval’s family wept loudly in the courtroom, and Sandoval put his head on his arms and cried.
The jury in Sandoval’s first trial couldn’t reach a verdict, but in his second trial in June, jurors convicted him of the charge. Expert witnesses testified that Sandoval placed the child in scalding hot water, evidenced by the linear burns on the nearly 2-year-old girl’s body.
Sandoval contended that the toddler climbed into the bathtub on her own. He was filling the tub with alternating buckets of hot and cold water, filled from the washing machine hook-ups because the pipes in their mobile home were frozen.
Immediately after the toddler was injured, Sandoval pulled her out of the water and took her to a hospital. She was transferred to St. Joseph Hospital’s burn unit for treatment of second-degree burns on her feet, buttocks and genitals.
Surbeck said he believed that Sandoval placed the girl in the water, possibly in order to “get her attention,” but hadn’t thought through the consequences of his actions.
He sentenced Sandoval to 12 years but suspended two years and ordered that time served on probation.