Police in Maine have accused a New Hampshire man of putting his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son in a clothes dryer and turning it on, seriously burning the child.
27-year-old Adam Morton admitted to investigators that he placed the boy in the dryer last month and turned it on – leaving the child with 2nd degree burns on his arms, back and feet. Morton was left to care for the child on his own and told police that he only left the boy in for one revolution of the drum.
A police affidavit obtained by WCSH6 included results of a forensic examination that concluded the boy had been “inside the dryer for a fairly prolonged period of time.” Dr. Lawrence Ricci based these findings on the discovery of lesions on the lower back that looked like they could have been healing burns and two circular lesions corresponding to bolts on the inside of the dryer. He also determined that “the distribution of the burns indicates either that the child was moving fairly dramatically and or the dryer was moving.”
The toddler’s father, Michael Sousa, moved back to the area to take care of his children. “I couldn’t stomach it. I did have to go outside. I was a little too hurt and overwhelmed that it even happened to him that I couldn’t sit through the first dressing. I don’t know what possesses anybody to harm a child,” said Sousa.
Following up, the police removed the dryer from the residence for testing. When the machine was put on low for 5 minutes it reached a temperature of 125 degrees. When it was placed on normal for 3 minutes it reached 180 degrees.
The man was staying with the mother and her other children at the time of the incident.
When DHS reps questioned the other children in the home they said Morton “does mean things” to the boy.
Morton faces a charge of aggravated assault and is being held on a $2,500 bond.