Crime

Babysitter Sentenced For Sodomizing 2-Year-Old

| by Lauren Briggs

A California man was supposed to be babysitting a close friend's 2-year-old daughter, but he instead spent that time sodomizing her, according to prosecutors.

Now, he will spend the next 25 years to life in prison.

On Feb. 8, Kenneth James Baker, a 27-year-old man from Oroville, California, pleaded no contest to a felony count of sodomy with a child younger than 10 years of age, reports the Chico Enterprise-Record. In addition to prison time, Baker is required to register for life as a sex offender and to pay $10,000 in restitution.

On March 8, Superior Court Judge Tamara Mosbarger announced the sentence, rejecting Baker's previous requests for a second chance on the grounds that he had never been in trouble with the law before and has no prior criminal record.

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"Some crimes are so horrific, sir, that you don't get -- and you are not entitled to -- a second chance," said Mosbarger at the time.

During the sentencing hearing, a victim advocate read a statement from the 2-year-old's mother, who will remain anonymous for the sake of her privacy, in which she stated that she thought she "had a good friend" in Baker and never suspected the man she knew for five years, and even called a brother, would commit such a monstrous crime.

"Kenneth has shredded my family," the mother wrote. "This will forever affect us."

The mom left the girl with Baker for three days in January when she went to the hospital to deliver another baby. When she returned home, she said she saw "gruesome bruises," which her family first noticed when changing the toddler's diaper. They called police and took the child to the hospital, where examiners determined her injuries were consistent with sodomy.

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The toddler also sustained injuries consistent with physical abuse, according to KRCR.

Prosecutors said they arrested Baker shortly after, and that he confessed his crime.

"It really puts into perspective how much these types of crimes affect victims and affect their families," said Matt Taylor, deputy district attorney, who said it is "unlikely" Baker would receive parole when eligible in 25 years, notes the Chico Enterprise-Record. "It's devastating, and what the defendant did was monstrous."

Taylor said during the proceedings that prosecutors would "do everything" they could to "seek the maximum punishment" for Baker.

"This is one of those crimes that shocks the conscience," the prosecutor added at the time.

Sources: Chico Enterprise-Record (2), KRCR / Photo Credit: Houston DWI Defense/Flickr

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