GALVESTON -- A League City woman was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison after being convicted of physically abusing her 10-year-old son by pouring boiling water on him and burning his genitals with a curling iron.
Partina Rhenee Clemons, 33, was convicted of three counts of injury to a child after a week-and-a-half trial, prosecutor Bill Reed said. A jury in visiting state District Judge Henry Dalehite's court deliberated 35 minutes before reaching the verdict Tuesday and spent two hours in deciding punishment on Wednesday, Reed said.
The mother of three was given two life sentences for burning her adopted son, Christopher. Jurors also sentenced her to 40 years in prison for damaging her son's ear and fined her $15,000.
The sentences will run concurrently, Reed said.
During the punishment phase of the trial, Clemons, who was working as a long-term substitute teacher at Ball High School when she was arrested in January 2000, denied hurting the child or knowing who had.
Clemons' boyfriend, James Cooper, 33, also was charged with injury to a child and is scheduled to go to trial in October, Reed said.
"We are very pleased," Reed said. "We think it sends a strong message and hope it will deter child abusers."
The boy, now 11, is living with his father, Reed said.
Clemons' two biological children are in the custody of their maternal grandmother, he said. Police do not believe they were abused.
Children's Protective Services' records show Christopher Clemons suffered a broken arm and was placed in the custody of his grandmother in July 1996 after an investigation of physical abuse.
The child remained with the grandmother for more than a year and was returned to his mother after she attended parenting classes and counseling.