New York: An Indian-origin woman, found guilty of brutally abusing and starving her 12-year-old step-daughter for more than a year and half, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in the US.
Sheetal Ranot, 35, of Queens, was convicted by a jury in July this year of first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter yesterday sentenced Ranot to 15 years in prison.
Ranot’s stepdaughter Maya was repeatedly denied food and so severely battered on one occasion with a broken metal broom handle that her wrist was sliced to the bone and required a lengthy hospitalisation and surgery.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Ranot was the “epitome of an evil step-mother”.
Not only did she refuse to provide basic nourishment for the child but also “wantonly beat and abused the girl inflicting pain still evident by the scars that mark her body today. The youngster, at 12, weighed just 58 pounds. No child deserves to be treated in this manner.”
Maya’s biological father Rajesh Ranot is also charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child and will be tried at a later date.
Ranot repeatedly hit her stepdaughter on her body and face, causing bruising and severe pain.
Between December 2012 and May 2014, she even locked the youngster inside her bedroom and for extended periods of time refused to feed her.
In one instance, Ranot kicked the girl in the face while wearing footwear, causing bruising, swelling and substantial pain about her eye and face.
On another occasion, she struck Maya in the face with a wooden rolling pin causing a laceration, swelling and pain toher left cheek that required the girl to be treated at a local Queens hospital, where doctors found Maya to be underweight and thin.
In a third instance, Ranot hit Maya with a broken metal broom handle. The blow caused a deep laceration and bleeding of the youngster’s left wrist and right knee.
When medical personnel arrived at the family residence, they found Maya lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen with the tendons of her left wrist exposed.
The young girl had to undergo surgery for her wrist and received stitches to her knee.