A judge sentenced an Orange man to two years in prison for not living up to his “absolute duty to step in” when his wife was torturing and sodomizing their 10-year-old nephew.
Edward Medina, 46, admitted last April that he did nothing to stop his wife, from searing their nephew’s tongue with a red-hot butter knife, beating him with a small baseball bat and then sodomizing him with it Sept. 7.
Instead of trying to help the boy who was calling out to him, Medina left the room where the torture was taking place and turned up the volume of a television set in a bedroom to escape the sound of his nephew’s screams, Deputy Dist. Atty. Chuck Middleton said at the sentencing hearing before Orange County Superior Court Judge John J. Ryan.
Medina also admitted to standing by during a yearlong period while his wife abused both their nephew and their son. He pleaded guilty to two counts of child endangerment.
“There was a continuing course of violent behavior for maybe up to two years,” Ryan said. “But on Sept. 7 what occurred was far beyond, and Mr. Medina had an absolute duty to step in.”
Ryan could have sentenced Medina for as little as one year in jail or up to a maximum of eight years in state prison. Ryan said he chose the low prison term because Medina has no serious criminal record and because he did not inflict the injuries himself.
In June, Medina’s wife, Cynthia Medina, 32, was sentenced to life in prison after becoming the first person in Orange County to be convicted of torturing a child.
During Cynthia Medina’s trial, the boy testified that she began the torture after accusing him of playing with an ashtray.
She will be eligible for parole in nine years.
Edward Medina’s attorney, Marlin G. Stapleton Jr., called his client’s sentence fair. Outside the courtroom, the boy’s father said the boy is in a foster care home and is preparing to go to school in the fall.