By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
A Richmond man who was charged with leaving “very visible” injuries on a toddler after a paddling pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree criminal abuse.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith recommended 23-year-old Stephen Dean serve a sentence of four years in prison.
Dean’s relationship to the child was not stated during the hearing.
Dean originally was indicted on a charge of first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under. The Class C felony carries a penalty of five to 10 years in prison.
However, in exchange for his guilty plea, Dean’s charge was amended to second-degree criminal abuse. The Class D felony carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Dean told Madison Circuit Court Judge William G. Clouse he hit the 3-year-old with a paddle.
“I spanked him with a paddle at the time not thinking it would cause injury,” Dean said.
Smith elaborated, stating the beating caused “very visible” marks on the child’s buttocks, including some in the shape of the paddle.
“It went beyond a paddling...” Smith said.
Dean is set to be sentenced Aug. 23 in Madison Circuit Court.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.