Man pleads guilty to child abuse

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

A Durham man pleaded guilty to felony child abuse after his 17-month-old stepson was found to have serious internal injuries in 2010.

Anthony Tony Scott pleaded guilty Tuesday in Durham County Superior Court to felony child abuse involving a willful act or omission causing serious mental or physical injury. He also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana.

In July 2010, Duke University Medical Center admitted a 17-month-old child who was vomiting and had severe abdominal pain. It was the second time in several weeks the child was treated at the hospital for the same symptoms, said Assistant District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks.

Doctors discovered the child had internal injuries, including a hemorrhage of his pancreas, Coggins-Franks said.

The doctor said the only way the child could have received that type of injury was through blunt force trauma, such as being punched or hit in the stomach, she said.

Scott and his wife began offering possible excuses for the injury, including that he might have been hit by another child with a stick, might have fallen over exercise equipment or might have been injured by his car seat when they had to stop suddenly, the assistant district attorney told Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson.

However, the doctor said none of those events could have caused that type of injury, Coggins-Franks said.

Scott’s wife already pleaded guilty to the same offense, and she received a probationary sentence since she didn’t have a criminal record, Coggins-Franks said.

The child is in the care of his biological father.

The drug charge came as a result of a traffic stop, when police found two bags with marijuana in it.

The plea agreement called for Scott to receive 12 to 15 months in prison, with credit for time served for the two charges, which were consolidated for sentencing.