BARRE — The change of plea request of a Waterbury man accused of intentionally hurting a 10-month-old child has been denied.
Anshe T. Lotspeich, 25, originally pleaded not guilty Oct. 31 in Washington County criminal court to felony counts of first-degree aggravated domestic assault and cruelty to a child with serious bodily injury resulting. If convicted, Lotspeich faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on $50,000 bail.
Last week, Judge Mary L. Morrissey rejected Lotspeich’s first request to change his plea to guilty and be sentenced to 3 to 10 years, all suspended but six months, with credit for time served.
Rory Thibault, Washington County state’s attorney, said he was opposed to the change of plea request because of the serious nature of the offense and the injuries inflicted. He also said the change of plea request did not meet the standard for punitive punishment or allow enough time for the defendant to undergo risk-reduction rehabilitation treatment in prison, which usually takes 18 to 19 months. Thibault said an updated medical examination of the child is likely to show more evidence of effects of the assault on the child.
“It’s not part of the public record yet at this point, but the parties have been able to see some updates about the victim in the case,” Thibault said. “I think that really emphasizes the judge’s concern that this is a very severe case. Likewise, some of the longer-term effects of what happened are only becoming clear now and were not really integrated into the affidavit or discovery in the case.”
On Thursday, Morrissey said there had been discussion with prosecution and defense attorneys about Lotspeich serving a year in prison, but Morrissey said she had concerns about that agreement.
Morrissey rejected a second change of plea request after defense attorney Maggie Vincent said Lotspeich would agree to serve two years and complete rehabilitation treatment in prison.
The judge said she didn’t think the proposed punishment fit the crime. She also expressed concern that the ongoing effects of injury to the child were still being evaluated.
“The injuries to this child, and again the pattern (of abuse) that was inflicted on this child, I think, was one of the most egregious cases I’ve seen of child abuse. I don’t think two years (prison) is sufficient to address the behavior that underlies the injuries to this child,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey postponed the hearing 30 days to allow time for additional medical reports on the child’s health to be submitted and for the defense to reconsider its change of plea request.
Trooper James Vooris, of the Vermont State Police, said in his affidavit on Oct. 22 that a 10-month-old had been admitted to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington. He said the child had reportedly suffered serious injuries.
Vooris said the child’s mother reported she came home and found the child “acting different.” The child wouldn’t move her head or eyes and had bruising on her head and abdomen, according to the affidavit. Vooris said he learned the child may have needed surgery due to bleeding on the brain.
The mother told police she lived with Lotspeich.
Vooris said a doctor determined the injuries the child suffered were a result of “sustained beating.”
Vooris said he spoke to the child’s mother on Oct. 24, who reported she came home on Oct. 19 and heard the child crying. She told police Lotspeich told her the child had fallen out of bed and out of a chair. The mother told police Lotspeich was sitting outside when she returned home and told her the child had been crying for a few minutes.
Vooris said he spoke with Lotspeich on Oct. 28 and he initially said the child had fallen out of bed and out of a chair. Lotspeich eventually told police he had pushed the child to the ground, pushed the child off a couch and hit them about 10 different times, according to court records.
Lotspeich told police sometimes he would hit the child out of anger or frustration, but mainly it was out of annoyance. Vooris said Lotspeich reported the worst incident was when he kicked the child on Oct. 18.