2010-11-19 / Top Stories

Scald Mom Gets 15 Years In Prison

A Rockaway Park mother has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty last month to first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child for severely burning her toddler son by deliberately immersing him in scalding hot bath water after he soiled his pullups.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown identified the defendant as Regina Cooper, 31, of 112-34 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Park.

Cooper was sentenced on Tuesday, November 16, to 15 years in prison and five years’ post release supervision by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter. Last month she pleaded guilt to first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Brown said, “This horrific attack on a helpless child was committed by the one person who he should have been able to trust above all others to care for him – his own mother. The defendant’s actions have left both emotional and physical scars on this young child. In addition to being burned over 20 percent of his body, the child had to have all of his toes and part of his feet amputated. The sentence imposed by the court is necessary to punish the defendant and to serve as a warning to others who would abuse a child.”

Brown said that, according to the defendant’s own admissions, Cooper got upset when she came home around midday on January 25, 2010, and was told that her three-year-old son, Barkim Owens, had soiled his pull-ups. The defendant then cursed and screamed at the child, filled the bathtub with hot water and immersed the child in the water. Despite his screams to be taken out the defendant held him in the hot water. When she finally took him out of the tub, his skin fell off. He suffered serious and deep burns to both feet, both legs, his buttocks and his genitalia. He endured multiple skin grafts, his liver and kidney failed and his condition was grave and life threatening. As a result of the burns, all ten of his toes and part of his feet were amputated.

Judge Buchter castigated Cooper for taking out her anger on a child “who only wanted to be loved.”

“Regina Cooper, unfortunately, is the mother from hell,” Buchter said. “The defendant is merciless and sadistic.”

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