WARSAW — Devan Bounds, Warsaw, was sentenced today, March 30, for the child abuse and battery of a two-year-old victim that was struck multiple times with a belt causing moderate injuries.
The investigation found that on Aug. 8, 2016 Bounds was placed in care of his girlfriend’s children while she was at work. During that time, the victim wet her pants and Bounds became angry and struck the victim with a belt multiple times. The belt caused multiple welts and several lacerations to the back and buttocks of the child.
Later, the victim’s Aunt observed the injuries and contacted authorities while she was babysitting. In the course of the investigation, the victim’s mother (Bounds’ girlfriend) first admitted to being the one who disciplined the victim with a belt, but later recanted her story and advised that Bounds was responsible for the injuries. She stated that she was intimidated and scared of Bounds, who has been physical with her in the past and she was covering for him. She further stated that Bounds made her delete texts off her phone after he found out the police were involved and investigating.
Bounds was originally charged with battery to a person less than fourteen years of age by an adult, a level 5 felony, battery causing moderate bodily injury, a level 6 felony and obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Bounds pled guilty to battery, a level 5 felony, and obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katy Hampton brought up Bounds’ past criminal history during the sentencing. She stated that he had four battery related instances. Bounds’ attorney Scott Lennox explained that the majority of those instances were from Bounds’ juvenile history and didn’t count.
When given a chance to speak, Bounds addressed the court. “I didn’t even know I did wrong until the next day and I saw the marks I made,” he said. “It’s been such a honor to be their dad. I am not a criminal. I am not a child abuser. What you see on paper is not me, at all.”
Judge David Cates disagreed with Bounds’ statement. “That wasn’t discipline. You beat this child,” he said. “I see no reason to show you mercy when you did not show the child mercy.”
Bounds was sentenced to serve five years at the IDOC for the battery charge, with the last year suspended. He was further sentenced to one year for the obstruction of justice charge, to be suspended. The terms are to be served consecutively, totaling a four year sentence followed by two years on probation.
Bounds was ordered to have no contact with the victim and to enter an anger management program with the Bowen Center.