STATEN ISLAND — An appeals court has reinstated the 2007 conviction of a man who dipped his girlfriend's three-year-old son in scalding hot water.
Last February, a federal judge overturned the assault conviction of Michael Duhs, 42, because prosecutors didn't place the boy on the stand but relied on a statement the victim made to an emergency room doctor.
The federal judge ruled that Duhs — who's serving a 20 year sentence for the crime — did not receive a fair trail and the statement to the doctor was unreliable evidence, the New York Daily News reported.
The Staten Island District Attorney's Office appealed the decision and the appeals court ruled that even though the doctor is not a law enforcement member, they still have a duty to report child abuse and the testimony is valid.
"We are gratified by the Second Circuit's reversal of the District Court's grant of habeas corpus relief and relieved that the justly obtained conviction of Michael Duhs for his reprehensible crime against a small child will stand," District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a statement.
Duhs was watching his girlfriend's son in 2005 and filled a bathtub with hot water — later estimated to be between 130 to 160 degrees. He then plunged the toddler's feet and ankles in the water, prosecutors said.
The boy suffered second- and third-degree burns from the water. He was only taken to the hospital after his mother came home from school.
While at the hospital, a doctor examined the boy and asked him how he got hurt and why he didn't get out of the tub? The victim responded "he wouldn't let me out," according to court documents.
Duhs was convicted of assault and endangering the welfare of a child.