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Thursday, June 30th, 2011

16 years in prison for man who tortured toddler

By Margie Wuebker
A 16-year prison sentence was handed down Wednesday to a 26-year-old Celina man who restrained and tortured a 3 1/2-year-old-girl.
Nathaniel C. Maddox, formerly of 225 W. Logan St., nodded but said nothing in Mercer County Common Pleas Court as relatives called out "We love you, Nathan" as uniformed deputies led him from the courtroom.
Maddox, who smiled to the same supporters prior to the court proceeding, showed no sign of emotion as Judge Jeffrey Ingraham imposed the prison sentence. He declined the opportunity to speak with a barely audible "No, your honor."
The defendant pleaded guilty June 1 to felonious assault and two counts of child endangering, second- and third-degree felonies.
Maddox, who was credited for 169 days served during pendency of the case, will be 42 upon release. He also received five years of post-release control.
Defense attorney Dan Myers requested concurrent sentences of less than 10 years - a period that would have made his client eligible for post-release control after five years.
He also stated community control sanctions imposed upon early release from prison would result in supervision by the court's adult probation department and likely counseling for his client's anger management, alcohol and drug problems.
"Nathan has a serious problem with alcohol and drugs," Myers said. "That and poor decisions led to the victim's physical and mental injuries."
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Fox emphatically disagreed with a sentence of less than 10 years, adding there are allegations Maddox tortured the child on Jan. 5 and 6.
"She was non-responsive and in danger of death," he added.
He described a pattern of torture that involved duct tape being placed across the victim's mouth and around her hands and legs. The felonious assault charge related to the child being struck or thrown. Court records further claim the defendant administered corporal punishment or other physical disciplinary measures in a cruel manner or for a prolonged period of time.
Fox also requested that Maddox have no contact with the child in the future.
"I'm glad he got what he got," the child's mother, Emilie Valdez, said after deputies ushered Maddox out of the courtroom. "At least we will be safe for 16 years."
The offenses carried a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison and up to $40,000 in fines. The judge did not impose any fines because Maddox has no source of income.
As part of a negotiated agreement, the state dismissed the 12 remaining counts in the indictment handed down Jan. 20. They involved the same victim who is identified in court records as Jane Doe I.
Celina Police and Mercer County Children's Services were called to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater the night of Jan. 7 for a child with life-threatening injuries. She later went by ambulance to Children's Medical Center in Dayton and spent several days being treated in the intensive care unit for a head injury with internal bleeding.
Authorities also noted bruising and blisters on the child's body and extremities. Fox stated earlier in court the blisters or burns likely came from frostbite.
Maddox reportedly told police he found the child in an unresponsive state, and that he and his mother took her to the Coldwater hospital by private vehicle.
He had been the child's primary caregiver since December. He and Valdez were separated.
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