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Woman gets max sentence for abusing child with cold water

| May 30, 2012 at 08:07 am

Child abuseTHE GAZETTE. While imposing the maximum sentence Tuesday against a woman convicted of child abuse for torturing a 21-month-old girl with cold water, a judge lamented that his options “pale in comparison to any justice that should be doled out.”

Mary Horsley, 51, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for her convictions on child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and attempted child abuse with serious bodily injury. She also was sentenced to two years in the El Paso County jail for her conviction on two charges of misdemeanor child abuse, followed by five years of probation.

Fourth Judicial District Judge David Prince ruled that the sentences would run consecutively.

“It is beyond the ability of the court to deliver justice in this case,” he said.

Addressing Horsley directly, Prince said: “The girl that came to live in your home is no more.” He said she is “a shadow, a shell, almost an insult” to who she used to be.

Prosecutors showed during Horsley’s trial that she bound 21-month-old Alexis Salaz with tape and repeatedly showered her with cold water when she misbehaved. Evidence also showed that, on occasion, Alexis had been beaten with a spatula and a belt and dunked into a tub of cold water.

Alexis and her mother, Samantha Salaz, had moved in with Horsley, Samantha’s aunt.

Joseph Saunders, Alexis’ biological father, was at the sentencing hearing Tuesday with his wife, Elizabeth Saunders.

The couple, who did not know that Alexis existed until Salaz and Horsley were arrested, have adopted the child.

With her husband at her side, Elizabeth Saunders described a child that “can’t walk, talk, eat, sleep or interact with other kids.”

“Mary Horsley decided to play God with our daughter’s life,” Elizabeth Saunders said.

Horsley was arrested April 8, 2011, one day after Alexis was bound and left under a cold shower for spilling a drink at Horsley’s house on North Farragut Avenue in Colorado Springs, an arrest affidavit said.

Samantha Salaz told police that her aunt had bound Alexis and put her in the shower. Police found tape residue and bruises on the toddler after medical staff at Memorial Hospital revived her.

Salaz testified against Horsley after taking a plea deal herself and agreeing to spend 24 years in prison.

Source: The Gazette

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