Man accused of putting 2-year-old in dryer in Bangor

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A New Hampshire man has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly placing a 2-year-old boy in a dryer and turning it on.

An affidavit reveal new details about the case against 27-year-old Adam Morton of Berlin, New Hampshire. Morton was the toddler's mother's live-in boyfriend.

According to a police affidavit, Morton admitted to investigators that he placed the 2-year-old boy in a clothes dryer in early August. The boy had second degree burns on his back, on his arms, and his feet.

The toddler's father, Michael Sousa, moved back to Bangor after the incident to take care of his youngest son and other children.

Sousa described when he first saw his son's injuries, "I couldn't stomach it. I did have to go outside. I was a little too hurt and overwhelmed that it even happened to him that I couldn't sit through the first dressing."

The affidavit also said Dr. Lawrence Ricci conducted a forensic examination of the boy and concluded, "there were lesions on the lower back that looked like they could have been healing burns ... [and] incidentally, the two circular lesions correspond to bolts on the inside of the dryer." Ricci also said, "the distribution of the burns indicates either that the child was moving fairly dramatically and or the dryer was moving."

Dr. Ricci's report concluded the child was in the dryer for a "fairly prolonged period of time. And the dryer, indeed, may have actually been turning."

Sousa said he feels justice has not been served, "More than angry. it makes me overwhelmed and upset that there hasn't been something done further."

Investigators took the dryer from the home on Bolling Dr. and tested the temperature inside the machine when it was on. After five minutes of a "low" setting, the dryer reached 125 degrees. When the dryer was placed on a "normal" setting for three minutes, temperatures fluctuated between 150 and 180 degrees.

"I don't know what possesses anybody to harm a child," said Sousa.

Department of Health and Human Services representatives went to the home to interview the other children after the incident. The affidavit said other children in the home said Morton "does mean things" to the 2-year-old.

Morton is facing a charge of aggravated assault and is in custody at Penobscot County Jail. He is being held on a $2,500 cash bail.


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