A New York City foster mother was charged with assault after third-degree burns were discovered on a 19-month-old boy in her care.
Shirley Verneus, 35, was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Tuesday on charges of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said.
“The child will be permanently scarred – both physically and emotionally – by the experience,” District Attorney Richard Brown stated in a release.
Verneus was investigated after she brought Jaurelious Green to a Jan. 17 meeting with his biological parents at St. Christopher Ottile Foster Agency.
A case workers saw bandages on Jaurelious’ legs and asked Verneous what happened. She claimed she left the toddler unattended in a bathtub days earlier and he had scalded himself with hot water.
The toddler’s injuries were not reported to the foster agency. Verneous claims she took the child to a clinic, but there have been no reports to corroborate her story.
A doctor at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Burn Unit said the boy had second- and third-degree burns “from the top of his thighs down to the soles of his feet on both legs,” according to the criminal complaint.
Verneus faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Her bond was set at $100,000 and she is scheduled to appear in court on June 16.