Mother leaves 1-year-old son alone in bathtub with running boiling water causing second and third-degree burns

Bathtub (illustration) 
By: Chan Yuan

A mother was arrested on a charge of assault after leaving her 1-year-old son in a bathtub with running hot water, causing the child to suffer severe burns, police in New York said.

Now, 35-year-old Shirley Verneus of Queens, is facing up to 25 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to the police, Verneus brought her 19-month-old son, Jaurelious Green, to the St. Christopher Ottile Foster Agency located at 89-30 161 Street, for a scheduled visit with his biological parents.

During the visit, a St. Christopher caseworker observed bandages around the child’s legs and asked Verneus what had happened to him.

Verneus, who is the child’s sole caretaker, claimed that she was in another room inside her St. Albans residence and heard her son crying while he was in the bathroom unattended with a 3-year-old child.

Verneus told the caseworker that she observed Jaurelious sitting in the bathtub with the water running and that when she removed the child from the tub, she observed his skin peeling off.

Verneus then told the caseworker that she took Jaurelious to a medical clinic, but she could neither provide any information or documentation regarding such a visit nor did she report the injury to the foster care agency.

The victim was taken later that day from the St. Christopher Ottile Foster Agency to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Burn Unit, where medical personnel stated that Jaurelious suffered second and third-degree burns from the top of his thighs down to the soles of his feet.

Medical evidence also proved that the mother acted in a reckless manner by failing to seek prompt medical attention for more than a week, which caused and created the potential for life threatening infections and other serious complications.