A 22-year-old Edgecomb man was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 19 to nine months in jail and three years of probation for the abuse of a 20-month-old child in December 2014.
Matthew A. Grasser Jr. was sentenced to five years with all but nine months suspended, plus three years of probation, for class C domestic violence assault on a child less than 6 years old, according to court documents.
As part of his probation conditions, Grasser must undergo mental-health counseling; have no contact with children younger than 16 years old, unless it is incidental contact through work; and have no contact with the victim’s mother.
Grasser was arrested in December 2014 after the toddler was taken to the LincolnHealth-Miles Campus emergency room with a swollen elbow. The toddler’s arm was found to be broken below the elbow. The toddler also had extensive bruising to his face, torso, and arms, according to a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
The toddler was transferred to the Spurwink Clinic in Portland, where it was determined that the injuries were the result of physical abuse.
The toddler was in Edgecomb with his aunt and her boyfriend, Grasser, after the Maine Department of Health and Human Services removed the toddler from his mother’s care. Following Grasser’s arrest, the toddler was returned to the custody of his mother.
Grasser was initially charged with class B aggravated assault, in addition to class C domestic violence assault. In a plea deal reached Oct. 5, 2015, Grasser pleaded guilty to class C domestic violence assault on a child less than 6 years old. The aggravated assault charge was dismissed.
As part of the plea deal, both the state and Grasser, through his attorney, Nathaniel Levy, agreed to a 2 1/2-year cap on time served. The toddler’s mother wrote to the court asking that Grasser be sentenced to the full 2 1/2 years sought by the state.
According to the mother’s letter, the trauma from the abuse had a lasting effect on the toddler, who suffered from nightmares and separation anxiety. The medical bills that accrued as a result of the abuse placed her in debt, she wrote.
The mother also requested that Grasser receive mental-health counseling and be prohibited from contacting her.
Grasser is serving his sentence at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.