Evil Dad Sentenced In Daughter’s Death
An Arverne man whose 7-year-old daughter died after he viciously abused her and then failed to get medical attention for her was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Russell Roberts, 43, was sentenced to a decade behind bars for the death of his daughter, Sierra Roberts. The little girl died days after Roberts cruelly subjected her to two rounds of beatings in October, 2005, in which he repeatedly kneed her in the stomach and then, a day later, bent her over a bed – leaning her on her injured stomach – and whipped her buttocks with a belt.
A 911 call eventually alerted police to the situation on October 25, 2005 and Sierra was taken from their home at 72-21 Hillmeyer Avenue in Arverne to Peninsula Hospital Center where she died a short time later. Roberts was charged with her death after an autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner found massive internal injuries, including ruptured bowels.
An investigation revealed that Sierra tested positive for cocaine when she was born and was raised by foster parents until Roberts regained custody when she was 3-years-old. The Administration for Children’s Services was responsible for monitoring Sierra’s case, but the agency failed to take appropriate action in 2003 when a doctor reported that he suspected abuse. The doctor initially did not suspect abuse when he treated Sierra for a fractured spine, but that changed when the girl returned with a broken leg and Roberts claimed the injury happened when he fell on top of her.
ACS later admitted that it did not respond aggressively enough to the doctor’s suspicion of abuse.
Richards pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month before Queens Supreme Court Justice Robert C. Hanophy, who imposed his sentence this week. He waived his right to appeal as part of the plea.
In a prepared statement, the District Attorney said Roberts’ “attack on his innocent and vulnerable young daughter was both heartless and heartbreaking.”