- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - A state district court judge has declined to give prison time to a woman he found guilty of scalding the feet and legs of her 2-year-old foster son.

Saying he felt 29-year-old Lan Huylh Le acted negligently, Judge Ron Ware on Wednesday sentenced Le to a five-year suspended prison term and three years’ supervised probation.

The American Press reports (https://bit.ly/1eOXZNb ) Le wept when Ware said he was not going to sentence her to serve time. After the sentencing, Ware hugged Le and her family in the hallway.

Ware found Le guilty of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile after a six-day trial in May. Le had requested he hear the case instead of a jury.

Le’s foster son had third-degree burns that rose 5 1/2 to 6 inches up both legs. Both legs required skin grafts. The burns were uniform and without splash marks, investigators said.

Le claimed the boy climbed into the tub himself. She had no burns on her hands or arms - which investigators said she likely would have had if she had reached into the water to pull out the plug, as she said she did.

Le’s story was not supported by the evidence, Ware said in May when he found her guilty.

Defense attorney Cliff Newman said Le is a “good lady.”

“When nobody wanted those children, Lan Le wanted them and raised them,” he said, asking Ware for a suspended sentence.

Le, who did not testify during her trial, said the incident was an “accident.”

“I loved all my foster kids,” she told Ware. “What happened was everybody’s worst nightmare and something I have to live with every day of my life.”

It hurt her that she could not be there for the boy during his recovery, she said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about (him),” she said.


Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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