CLEVELAND – A woman who beat her 3-year-old son so badly he was comatose when he arrived at a hospital for treatment was sentenced Tuesday to 19 years in prison.
Carla Rivera, 28, was sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The Plain Dealer reported that Rivera apologized and said she is bipolar and became overwhelmed.
Rivera, of Cleveland, was accused of damaging her son’s internal organs, breaking his ribs and causing kidney failure and severe malnutrition. Her son also had a human bite mark on his ankle.
Two of Rivera’s seven children told investigators she repeatedly beat the boy with a broom handle, her fists and her feet. The boy suffered cardiac arrest after being taken to the hospital March 4 but survived after being resuscitated.
Rivera pleaded guilty to charges of felonious assault, endangering children and misdemeanor domestic violence.
Her boyfriend, Jorge Rosario-Colazzo, 28, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted child endangering.
Attorneys for Rivera and Rosario-Colazzo did not return telephone calls seeking comment Tuesday.
There was evidence that Rivera abused the boy because she disliked his biological father, said Joe Frolik, a spokesman for prosecutor Tim McGinty. The boy, who is now 4, lives with his father.
There was no evidence Rivera abused her other children, Frolik said.
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors wrote that the boy nearly died of his injuries and that Rivera is a “master manipulator who poses a very real danger.”
Five of Rivera’s children live with a relative. One child never lived with Rivera because of a physical disability that required constant care, Frolik said.