BANGOR, Maine — A New Hampshire man who pled guilty to putting his girlfriend’s 2-year-old child into a clothes dryer and turned on the machine will be sentenced Monday at Penobscot Judicial Center.
Adam Morton, 28, of Berlin, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in January.
He told police the child was only in the dryer for a couple of revolutions, but according to court documents describing the lesions and burns patterns suffered by the boy in August it was “likely that the child was in the dryer for a fairly prolonged period of time.”
Morton, who was dating the boy’s mother, was arrested Aug. 28 in New Hampshire and extradited to Maine. He was released on bail from the Penobscot County Jail on Sept. 19.
In exchange for Morton’s plea, the prosecutors recommended Morton be sentenced to eight years in prison with all but two years suspended and three years of probation, according to previously published reports.
The maximum sentence for the Class B crime is 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000.
The boy suffered second-degree burns to his back and arms, with a distinct pattern of circles that matched the drum of the dryer; blisters on his feet; bruises all over his body; and cuts that matched bolts on the inside of the appliance, according to court documents.
The investigation found that the dryer Morton used could reach a temperature of 180 degrees in as few as 3 minutes.
When questioned by police Aug. 27, Morton admitted he put the child in the dryer and turned it on, then said he regretted his actions and “did not really know the reason that he had done this,” though he admitted he had been “stressed,” according to the affidavit.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.
BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this story.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.