QUEENS — A Queens woman was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison after she was convicted of burning her 19-month-old foster son with scalding hot water until his skin peeled off, the Queens District Attorney announced.
Shirley Verneus, 37, burned Jaurelious Green on his lower extremities in her St. Albans home in January 2014. She then took him to visit his biological parents at the St. Christopher Ottilie Foster Agency where a caseworker noticed bandages on the boy’s legs.
“As a caregiver with sole responsibility for the life and safety of a young child, the defendant had an obligation to provide a safe environment and to keep him from harm,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
“Instead she stands convicted of having acted in a depraved manner by holding the child in scalding hot water. As a result, the child will be permanently scarred — both physically and emotionally — by that which occurred. Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime.”
Verneus first told caseworkers that Jaurelious got the burns while sitting in her bathtub with the water running.
She claimed to have taken him to a medical clinic, but could not provide any documentation of the visit, according to the DA.
Caseworkers brought him to the hospital where he was treated for second- and third-degree burns on his legs and buttocks.
He will suffer permanent scarring and likely require plastic surgery, the DA said.
Verneus was convicted in March in Queens Supreme Court of assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.
She was sentenced to 13 years in prison and five years' post-release supervision.