Man sentenced on child abuse charge

Published 10:36 am Thursday, July 8, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—A 22-year-old Windsor father will spend one year and four months behind bars for dunking his young son’s hand in a cup of hot coffee.

A judge sentenced Eric Douglas Powers on a felony child abuse charge Wednesday in Isle of Wight County Circuit Court for the October 2009 incident. Powers was sentenced to five years behind bars, but suspended three years and eight months of that sentence.

The crime is a Class 4 felony, meaning Powers could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In March, Powers pleaded guilty to the child abuse charge and admitted to dunking his son’s hand in a cup of hot coffee to teach him a lesson. The child, who was 14 months old at the time, had been reaching for the cup and Powers was trying to demonstrate that it was hot.

The coffee scalded the boy’s hand and he was taken to the hospital for treatment. He has since recovered.

Powers was originally charged with felony child abuse and malicious wounding, but the latter was dropped in March.