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A Carmel man charged with beating a 3-year-old boy in his home last year after he told the child to “fight like you’ve never fought before” was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison with all but six years suspended.
Damion Myers, 24, pleaded guilty just before being sentenced to one count each of aggravated domestic violence assault, a Class B crime; assault on a child less than 6 years old, a Class C crime; and domestic violence reckless conduct, a Class D crime.
The assault was captured on a camera intended to monitor an infant. The boy’s physical injuries were not serious but required medical treatment. The now 5-year-old boy suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the abuse, his psychologist told the judge Friday during the sentencing at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
Myers has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post $75,000 cash bail since his arrest in February 2022. That time will be applied to his sentence.
In addition to prison time, Superior Court Justice Ann Murray sentenced Myers to four years of probation with conditions that he not have contact with the boy or his family or any unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 16 and he must receive counseling.
In sentencing Myers, Murray called the defendant’s conduct “outrageous.”
“This was a repeated, sadistic abuse of a 3-year-old little boy,” she said.
The Jan. 3, 2022, beating was captured on a home security system, Chelsea Lynds, an assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, told the judge. The video captured Myers “fighting” with the child.
“Mr. Myers told [the boy], ‘I want you to fight like you’ve never fought before,'” Lynds said.
The video showed the boy asking to stop the fight and saying he was hurt. But Myers coached the boy to tell his mother that they had been “playing,” the prosecutor said.
The investigation that led to the charges began on Jan. 4, 2022, when the boy’s mother took him to St. Joseph Hospital because he had many bruises and contusions in various stages of healing, Lynds said. The hospital reported the suspected abuse to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
The boy now lives with his maternal grandparents. A victim-impact statement written by them and read by Lynds said that the child still is afraid that Myers will escape from prison and come to their home and beat him up.
Family members related to Myers and the boy wept as the video in which the boy could be heard crying as he was being beaten was played in court.
Lynds recommended a sentence of 10 years with all but eight suspended followed by four years of probation. Myers’ attorney Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth urged the judge to impose a sentence of six years in prison with all but three suspended and four years of probation.
In a separate incident, Myers is charged with domestic violence assault, a Class D crime, in connection with a Feb. 21, 2022, incident in Carmel involving the child’s mother. That case is pending.
Myers faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the most serious charge of aggravated domestic violence assault. He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted of the Class C assault.
On the Class D charges, Myers faced up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.