(STMW) — Not only did Amy Pherigo look the other way as her boyfriend was beating her 4-year-old son severely, but she kept the boy inside and put make-up on him so others could not see the bruises, according to prosecutors.
For that, the 32-year-old Chicago mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday after being convicted last year of aggravated battery to a child, according to a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
The brutally beaten boy was found by police on April 29, 2013, lying in his bed unable to speak in a South Side home as officers followed up on an anonymous child abuse tip made to the Department of Children and Family Services, the statement said.
Jose A. Morales, 26, who was Pherigo’s boyfriend at the time, beat the boy, causing multiple physical injuries, over a period of about two months, police said.
Pherigo, the boy, and her two older children lived with Morales, who would care for the younger boy when Pherigo went to work and the other children were in school.
The 4-year-old was found in his bed, “badly beaten and moaning with a blanket covering his body,” the statement from prosecutors said. He was taken to a hospital suffering hematomas to the brain, fractured ribs, lacerations to his liver and spleen, and bruising across his face and body.
Pherigo initially told police the boy was hurt when he fell down the stairs, according to prosecutors, but the boy told police Morales had beaten him on multiple occasions. Another witness said the boy’s lacerations were caused by Morales using nail clippers on his legs.
All three children testified that their mom put makeup on the boy’s injuries to hide the bruises, and did not let him outside during the day. Medical practitioners testified the abuse could have spanned from a few weeks to a couple of months.
Pherigo was found guilty by a jury under the legal theory of accountability, and Judge Michael McHale sentenced her to the 20 years, prosecutors said.
Morales is awaiting trial on a charge of aggravated battery of a child. He is scheduled for a status hearing March 1. He is being held on a $2 million bond.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)