A child abuse case in Polk County has been deemed sufficiently severe that the judge handed the maximum allowable penalty. An abused baby will never fully recover, and his father is now going to prison for five years, with five years probation to follow. Polk County District Attorney, Dan Steffen, commented after the sentence was handed down Wednesday by Judge Robert Rasmussen, against 26 year-old Kenneth Larson of Balsam Lake. "It's hard to say in something like this that you're pleased, because the underlying situation here is a baby that's probably going to die as a result of these actions," said Steffen.
Last October, Larson was arrested after his two month old son was hospitalized with swelling the brain, bleeding behind the eyes and a broken arm. Doctors say those injuries could have come from being shaken or struck. The district attorney's office says the child, who is 11 months old, is now blind and deaf and has seizures daily. "It's not very often in a felony case that you get the maximum sentence," Steffen said. "But if there ever was a case were it was not only just, but I think required, this was the one." The child is now in foster care, but doctors believe he may not live to see his second birthday. The baby's mother was also arrested and is charged with child neglect.