After Shawn Michael Foltz sent his wife a photo of their 2-month-old foaming at the mouth in May 2017, police say, the woman took the girl to an emergency room.
The man from Moorhead, Minnesota, was arrested last year after police say he confessed to using a towel to “snap” his baby in the face five times, pushing down hard on the little girl’s chest and also “rubbing hot sauce and cayenne pepper” on her eyes, mouth and nose. According to court documents obtained by Valley News Live, the man said he would sometimes sit at work and come up with different methods of abusing his daughter, whom he once used as the target of a firework.
Now, Foltz has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree felony assault of a victim younger than 4, according to WDAY. His now ex-wife Belinda Bailer said in court that she was shocked at how Foltz treated their daughter.
“I felt like I did not know the man I was married to,” she testified, as reported by WDAY.
Court documents say once Foltz sent his wife the alarming text message on May 30, he assured her that the baby’s condition looked worse in the images than it really was, according to Valley News Live. Police say they found the baby with purple bruising on her eyes and left shoulder, as well as red marks on her upper chest and back, after Bailer brought her to Essentia Health on May 31.
When he talked to police, Foltz allegedly confessed to his abuse. Authorities told Inforum that he admitted to dousing the child in cold or hot water, smacking the baby with a wooden spoon and even causing the baby to poop because of a hard strike with a piece of flooring.
He also admitted to preventing the baby from breathing until she turned blue, police told Valley News Live.
Foltz had originally told his wife that their 3-year-old son was responsible for the injuries, police say. He later testified in court that he targeted his daughter because she was too young to alert anyone to the abuse, according to Inforum.
As she talked about his sentencing, Judge Amber Gustafson told Foltz that “there’s no sentence that can undo the damage inflicted on your daughter.” According to WDAY, the man owes about $6,000 in restitution for damage he caused to the young girl.