A man found guilty of second-degree assault against a boy who was about to turn 2 was ordered Thursday to serve two years in jail.
"This case is incredibly sad," Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins told Peter D. Paulo, 26, during his sentencing hearing.
She noted that his father was in jail during a significant part of his youth "for seriously assaulting a child."
"The cycle needs to be broken," she said, before imposing six years in jail with four years suspended.
The assault occurred on June 2, 2003, 16 days before the child's second birthday. Paulo is not related to the boy, but Collins described them as belonging to the same family unit.
The boy suffered two brain bruises, left when he hit the side of a couch, the judge said.
Although the assault resulted in no permanent injury, the child was in "substantial risk of death," Collins said.
She said there was no pattern of abuse, and she was impressed with letters commending Paulo for helping his mother and grandmother, both disabled, in Yakutat.
Collins said she suspended four years of the sentence to ensure there would be severe consequences for a repeat offense. Paulo will be under probation for five years after his release from custody.
State Senior Attorney Richard Svobodny, the case prosecutor, argued that Paulo should serve twice the time. He proposed six years with two years suspended because of the severity of the crime.
Defense attorney Daniel Wayne argued that counseling would do Paulo more good than jail. He argued that the victim's 4-year-old brother caused the injuries.
Paulo did not speak at his sentencing, citing advice of his attorney.
Tony Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.