STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Concord woman who admitted biting her boyfriend’s toddler — who later died while she was baby-sitting him — was sentenced yesterday to five years’ probation.
Cynthia DuBois, 19, was accused of biting 15-month-old Josiah Taylor on the ears and abdomen and not getting him “necessary and appropriate medical attention” after the tot collapsed twice over two days while she was watching him in her home.
The boy was pronounced dead Nov. 23, 2010, in Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.
The city medical examiner determined Josiah died of battered child syndrome due to blunt-force trauma, said prosecutors. The trauma could have been caused by a fall, based on prosecutors’ extensive investigation of the incident.
Battered child syndrome means the victim was seriously abused over a period of time. His little body was covered with old bruises and bite marks, said authorities. A forensic exam concluded many of the injuries were at least two weeks old, officials said.
Ms. DuBois was not accused of inflicting the fatal blows, nor did she admit doing so — a point her lawyer stressed yesterday.
“In no way, shape or form did she make an admission as to causing the death of the child,” attorney Manuel Ortega said in a telephone interview.
Peter N. Spencer, spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the no-jail sentence was predicated on several factors. They include Ms. DuBois’ lack of a serious criminal record, her age and her personal background, which includes stints in several foster and group homes.
Spencer said that while evidence proved Ms. DuBois bit the child, there was no proof she had inflicted the deadly blows.
Prosecutors said the victim had been in his father and mother’s care as well as with Ms. DuBois over the time period in which he suffered the fatal injuries. No one admitted abusing the boy, and there were no corroborating witnesses to say how the toddler suffered the injuries.
Ms. DuBois potentially faces jail time should she be arrested or violate her probation over the next five years.
While prosecutors have exhausted the available evidence with respect to Ms. DuBois, the probe into the toddler’s death will continue, said Spencer.
Court documents said the boy’s father, Darrell Taylor of Clifton, had dropped off Josiah at Ms. DuBois’ home on Nov. 22, 2010. The victim, who lived with his mother in the Bronx, was staying with his father at that time. Taylor has not been charged in the case.
According to prosecutors, Josiah collapsed once that day and once the next day, while in Ms. DuBois’ care. The defendant didn’t call 911 until sometime after the second incident, said prosecutors.
Ms. DuBois, then 18, was charged with second-degree assault after dental impressions of bite marks on the victim matched her teeth, said prosecutors. Under state law, it is a felony for a person 18 years or older to intentionally injure someone younger than 7.
The criminally negligent homicide charge was levied due to her alleged failure to get the boy timely medical attention, despite his condition. She also was accused of a misdemeanor count of endangering a child’s welfare.
Ms. DuBois pleaded guilty two months ago in state Supreme Court, St. George, to the assault charge, the top count against her.