Joseph Anthony Lenchick, half of the Castleton couple guilty of child abuse and cruelty charges, was sentenced to eight months in jail in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Tuesday morning (July 23).
Lenchick pleaded guilty to a single charge of child endangerment on April 4; his plea was submitted as an Alford plea (in which he admitted that sufficient evidence exists to likely convict him at trial, but maintained for the record that he was innocent of the crime).
Summarizing evidence on April 4, Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff said that from last April 15 to May 13, Lenchick, 45, was responsible, along with his wife, Brenda Holly Lyons-Lenchick, for the care of three children, including a three-year-old girl identified as “DL.”
Lyons-Lenchick, 39, was tried separately and pleaded guilty on March 11 to two counts of child abuse and neglect and one count of neglect with the intent to maim. She was sentenced to two years in jail on June 12.
DL, Goff said, suffered from cerebral palsy and had casts on both her legs. The casts were designed to stretch a tendon in the legs, eventually allowing the girl to be fitted with more permanent metal braces in an effort to make her somewhat mobile.
Goff said that Lyons-Lenchik observed Lenchick head into a tool shed behind their house and emerge with a pair of scissors. When she asked him what he was doing, he replied that he intended to loosen the casts on DL’s legs because he was “tired of hearing her scream and cry.”
Goff said Lenchick actually cut the casts completely off DL’s legs which, according to her doctor, Mark Romness, injured the health of the child by delaying and damaging a necessary medical procedure.
Tuesday morning, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker sentenced Lenchick to 44 months in jail, with all but eight months suspended. Parker also placed Lenchick on five years of probation — two years of supervised contact, followed by three years of unsupervised probation.