Indiana’s appeals court has upheld a man’s conviction for causing serious burns to a 5-year-old boy by forcing the child’s hands into scalding water.
A Jay County jury had convicted Marcus A. Ternet, 54, last December of battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old. He was sentenced in February to 13 years in prison for the May 2011 incident at a Portland trailer home.
Trial testimony indicated Ternet intended to clean the boy’s hands after he had contact with a toad when he took him to a sink routinely not used because the water was dangerously hot.
The boy’s mother said skin was “hanging off” her son’s scalded hands, which were treated at two hospitals.
Ternet’s trial was set to begin in 2012, but he never showed. He was arrested and jailed in 2019.
In his appeal, Ternet maintained there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction and that prosecutors failed to prove his handling of the child was “rude, insolent or angry,” The Star Press reported.
The appeals court disagreed in a 3-0 ruling issued Aug. 6 upholding Ternet’s conviction. Judge Melissa May wrote that, “We find it inconceivable that Ternet could be other than ‘rude, insolent, or angry’ while holding (the boy’s) hands under hot water for the length of time necessary to cause the skin to peel off.”