- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A Sheridan man is spending up to five years in jail under plea agreement for hitting his girlfriend’s kids and using hot water to give one second-degree burns on his hands.

The original aggravated child abuse charge against Luke VanBerkom carried a maximum sentence of up to 25 years.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking says photos of the child’s injuries made her especially hesitant to uphold VanBerkom’s March plea agreement. She sentenced him Thursday to four to five years in prison.

VanBerkom was charged in January after the kids told investigators VanBerkom held one boy’s hand under hot water and hit him in the head. They say he repeatedly hit the other boy and kneed him in the nose.

VanBerkom was convicted of child abuse in 2006 for burning an 11-month-old child’s feet.

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