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A Michigan man will spend between 18 and 36 years in prison over horrific child abuse committed against a 15-month-old child that authorities repeatedly said was among the worst they had ever seen.
John Paul Fiedorek, 34, was convicted of one count of child abuse in the first degree and two counts of child abuse in the second degree on March 8, 2022. On Friday, April 22, he was sentenced to 18-36 years on the first-degree charge as well as 43-86 months on the second-degree charges. The sentences, however, will be served concurrently.
“Mr. Fiedorek brutally physically assaulted a helpless 15-month-old child who was left in his care,” Charlevoix Circuit Court Judge Roy C. Hayes III said when accounting for the lengthy prison term, according to The Petoskey News-Review. “Nothing could justify these actions.”
The defendant was arrested in October 2019, along with the child’s mother, Monica Lynn Cornell, on child abuse charges.
In September 2019, the baby boy was brought to a hospital emergency room by his mother over suspicions that the abuse had occurred, according to the Charlevoix County Office of the Sheriff.
Charges against Cornell were later dropped, and she testified as a witness for the prosecution during Fiedorek’s trial earlier this year.
The form of justice delivered in this instance was quite a long time in the offing and came after multiple delays and setbacks.
The defendant was ultimately tried three times, with the first two proceedings ended in mistrials. His third, and final, trial spanned all over two weeks. Then deliberations in the matter took over two days, according to Cadillac, Mich. television stations WWTV/WWUP.
During the last trial, jurors heard testimony from doctors who treated the boy for multiple injuries–including numerous fractures to his arms and bite marks on his body. Evidence shown by the prosecution purported to rule out anyone other than Fiedorek as having made the bite marks due to the defendant having a tell-tale chipped tooth.
The defense sought to counter the bite mark evidence by raising suspicious about the image quality, the News-Review reported.
Over a month-long investigation, police said they found evidence of fractures to both of the boy’s arms, evidence of rib fractures, bruises and abrasions on multiple parts of his body, and an injury inside the child’s upper lip. Further diagnosis showed that some of the boy’s fractures were in various stages of healing – suggesting a lengthy time period of abuse.
“This case was very difficult because the victim could not tell us what happened,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said after the guilty verdict was delivered. “We were only able to achieve justice in this case through the hard work of [fellow prosecutor] Mary [Farrell] and the investigators and the witnesses who told what they knew and the jurors who gave their time and attention.”
Farell herself addressed the verdict at the time in somber tones.
“There are no winners on either side in this case—there is only getting justice for the victim. I am so grateful that justice was served,” she said.
[image via Charlevoix County Office of the Sheriff]
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