An Albany man was convicted Tuesday of beating, burning and biting a 16-month old girl he was babysitting.
Payton Matthew Gary, 20, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison, said prosecutor Alex Olenick. The verdict and sentence came at the end of a one-day bench trial.
Gary was convicted by Judge Daniel Murphy of two counts of third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault. He was also accused of attempted first-degree assault, but that charge was dismissed.
The crimes occurred in July, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office was the arresting agency.
On July 3, authorities were called to Samaritan Albany General Hospital to investigate injuries to the toddler, who had a bite mark to her elbow, a large bruise on the side of her face and first- or second-degree burns to her leg. The girl also had a bite mark on her fingers, Olenick said, during opening arguments.
Gary initially told authorities that the child fell in the bathtub and hit her head on the spigot, and also fell while standing on a bed, hitting her elbow against his open mouth, causing the bite marks, Olenick said.
He said the burns were from a heating pad being used to treat the leg, which already was injured.
Authorities consulted medical staff about the nature of the new injuries. “These doctors say there’s no way — I’m paraphrasing — there’s no way that what Mr. Gary says is true,” Olenick told Murphy.
When confronted by investigators, Gary confessed. “He says he did this out of anger. He’s sorry he lied because he didn’t want to get in trouble,” Olenick said.
Gary hit the girl because she was misbehaving, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.
The girl accidentally head-butted Gary, breaking his glasses, and he showed her the spectacles, “as if she’d understand,” and then bit her in response, Olenick said.
Gary had no prior convictions, Olenick said.