Calling the beating of a 5-year-old boy "way beyond parental discipline," District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered a 27-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man Monday to serve an additional nine months in jail, and forbid him to use corporal punishment.
Gibbons sentenced DeWayne S. A. Rey to four years in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and gave him five years probation for felony child abuse against his son.
Terms include more jail time for Rey who has been in custody for 125 days, indefinite supervised visits with the victim and his four siblings, counseling for all the children, psychotherapy treatment, no drugs, alcohol or intoxicants, random search and seizure, and parenting classes.
Gibbons ordered Rey to write letters of apology to the victim and his brothers and sisters who witnessed the battery of the little boy, and authorities believe, also suffered abuse at his hands.
Rey must complete 100 hours of community service.
"You can't go home until the court is reasonably assured this won't be repeated," Gibbons said. "You'll have to find someplace else to live after you leave jail."
Gibbons said he wanted a safety plan in place for all the children.
"The children have to know there's no way there will be any retribution for something they said about you," Gibbons said.
That followed prosecutor Laurie Trotter's comment that Rey allegedly bashed his stepdaughter's head against the wall when she complained to her mother about how he treated the children.
In return for Rey's guilty plea, additional charges were dismissed.
Rey was arrested on Aug. 29 after authorities were called to the school by a teacher who asked the little boy why he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt.
An examination revealed a half-dozen welts and bruising on the child's back and chest.
Trotter said she had ongoing concerns about the children's welfare if Rey returns to the family too soon.
She said Rey and his wife had abusive upbringings as children, and had agreed not to use corporal punishment on their family.
But, she said, the little boy was covered with bruises and welts from the beating
"He was kicked, beaten, his father threw a shoe at him, put hands around his neck and choked him, and demeaned him, in just this one incident," Trotter said.
Rey's attorney, Kris Brown, said her client was remorseful for the offense, despite his nature not to show his emotions.
"He went from zero to five children in a short period of time," she said. "He dreams of being a good father. He's focusing on their education, their sports. He wants them to be good citizens, to rise above his past."
Brown said Rey was faced with all the stressors of being a parent including unemployment, and a lack of parenting skills.
She said Rey had used his time in jail to learn about "intimate violence," and how his own upbringing formed his idea of discipline. She said a psychological evaluation rated him a "moderate" risk to re-offend.
"Being here (in jail) has taken a lot out of me," Rey said. "It has definitely opened up my eyes to things I never thought were bad. I just thought it was normal.
Rey said he realized what happened to his son was wrong.
Gibbons said he felt for the first time, Rey wasn't trying to justify what he did to his son.
"What you did was inexcusable under any circumstances," Gibbons said. "You emotionally scarred him. He is never going to forget this. You have four other children. They witnessed this, and may have been victims themselves."