Ohio couple gets six years in jail for scalding boy who wet pants

A U.S. couple pleaded guilty for making a 7-year-old boy who wet his pants sit in scalding water which caused second-degree burns on his legs.

Leland and Sonya Johnson of East Canton were each sentenced Monday to six years in prison by Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles E. Brown Jr.

Leland Johnson, 24, is the boy's father and Sonya Johnson, 28, is his stepmother. The boy's biological mother is dead.

The couple failed to seek medical attention for the boy and kept him home from school for two weeks, claiming he had chicken pox, Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Lisa Barr said.

When the boy returned to school, his teachers noticed he was in pain and had trouble walking, Barr said.

The scalding occurred while Sonya Johnson had temporary custody of the boy following Leland Johnson's no contest plea in May 2004 to misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangering charges. Leland Johnson had beat his son with a belt, court records show.

He could not live with his son, but was allowed visitation. The scalding occurred during one of those visits, defense attorney Patrick Cusma said.

The boy has been placed with a grandmother, the AP reports.

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