Man who used stun gun on toddler gets 46 months
By The Associated Press, The Seattle Times, January 27, 2008

ALBANY, Ore. A former Albany man has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for using a high-voltage stun gun on his 18-month-old son.

Rian Wittman was arrested in February and agreed to a plea bargain last year. The sentence was imposed Friday.

Prosecutor Reed Dinsmore said the stun gun delivered 30,000 volts during testing.

"This is a case of a father torturing his 18-month-old son," prosecutor Reed Dinsmore said. "Why? We can't tell."

He said it's not yet known whether the child will suffer long-term nerve or neurological damage.

The prosecution said the child's mother saw marks on the boy in January 2007 and, thinking it was a rash, wanted to take him to a doctor.

But Wittman talked her out of it, Dinsmore said.

"He described to her that he used the stun gun to play peekaboo with the child," Dinsmore said. "The mother did not report the incident, and that was a mistake on her part."

After a second incident in February, she took the child to her sister's home and then to the police. Doctors at Samaritan Albany General Hospital found numerous wounds conforming to the stun gun's electrode pattern.

"I spoke to a Department of Human Services careworker who was present, and she said the look in the child's eyes will not easily be forgotten," Dinsmore said.

Defense attorney Tim Felling said Wittman believes the injuries were caused by the child's mother.

Felling said the two had argued earlier on the day the child was taken to authorities, and the mother said, "You'll be sorry" as she took the boy from the home.

Copyright 2008 The Seattle Times Company


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