nicholas-kernechelNORRISTOWN, PA – Nicholas Kernechel, 28, has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for beating his ex-girlfriend’s four-year-old autistic son and extracting three of his teeth.

The incident happened last year after the boy’s mother left him in the care of Kernechel while she went out with friends. The next morning, she found her son sleeping on his bedroom floor with his face beaten, lips swollen and missing three teeth.

The boy told his mother that Kernechel was responsible for his injuries and that he was not nice.

She rushed the boy to the hospital and brought along a bag containing the boy’s teeth. “The teeth were bloody but intact, from the tooth through the top of the root,” authorities said in a statement. A medical examination indicated that his “teeth were pulled out.”

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the teeth were “physically extracted, removed from his mouth, forcefully” and that afterward, Kernechel left the boy “to suffer overnight until the morning when his mother found him and saw what had been done.”

When interviewed, Kernechel first told officers he had no idea how the boy was injured. He would later change his story and say that he had picked the boy up to take him to the bathroom when the boy slipped out of his arms and face-planted a nightstand. Kernechel says he didn’t treat the injury and instead put the boy back in his bed where he cried for about five minutes.

Kernechel was arrested and would eventually plead guilty to simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person and false reporting. A felony charge of aggravated assault was dropped as part of this plea deal.

While in court for Kernechel’s sentencing this past Monday, Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman read a statement in court from the mother.

“You are, and always will be, a monster who abused a child with special needs,” the statement said. “I was a mother who trusted you with my son. I completely failed him as a mother.

Kernechel also apologized for his actions, telling the court he was a heroin addict who was high on the night the boy was tortured.

“Those were not the actions of a heroin addict on the nod,” replied Judge Steven T. O’Neill before sentencing Kernechel. “They were not the actions of someone who smoked pot chilling out.”

Cauffman said she was satisfied with the sentence despite it being a lot lighter without the dropped felony charge.

“Since the defendant’s arrest, that child is on the path to getting better and being in a better place,” Cauffman said. “Making him go through the rigors of a trial would have set him back so much.”

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