Lake Charles man pleads guilty in baby scalding case

(Source: Lake Charles Police Department)
(Source: Lake Charles Police Department)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Lake Charles man has pleaded guilty to cruelty to a juvenile nearly 12 years after putting a baby's foot in boiling water.

Joshua Banks was arrested shortly after the crime in August 2001 but skipped town and never showed up to his court appearance, authorities said.

Banks was listed as a fugitive and eventually turned himself in to authorities.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to cruelty to a juvenile in 14th Judicial District Court.

Judge Ron Ware sentenced Banks to eight years but suspended five of those years and gave him credit for a year he already served.

Lake Charles Police Sgt. Jeff Keenum was the lead detective in the case and said he is glad that justice was finally served.

"I cannot think of a more cruel and egregious thing to do to an infant. This infant was seven months old. She couldn't defend herself. I can't begin to imagine the pain she had to endure. Again, it was one of those cases that stuck with me in my 10 years in investigations and I was glad to see that it finally got a conclusion for the victim's family on Monday afternoon," Keenum said.

Ware gave Banks until Monday to get his affairs in order and report to the Calcasieu Correctional Center.

If he fails to do so, he will have to serve the entire eight years.

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