KENTON CO., Ky. (FOX19) - A man found guilty of child abuse is going back to prison just three years after he served time connected to the death of a two-year-old girl.
Paul Cotter was sentenced on Tuesday to nine years in prison for criminal abuse of a child.
In 2019, a 15-month-old boy was brought to the hospital with multiple fractures by his mother, Stephanie Streaker, according to the criminal complaint.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center called the Covington Police after the boy was brought in.
Streaker, who told police she wasn’t sure how her son got those injuries, described an incident where she came home to find the toddler pinned under the couch, the complaint said.
Cotter was accused of drug use and drinking, sometimes to the point of blacking out, by the boy’s mother, according to the complaint.
Cotter admitted to police during an interview he did use drugs but denied any abuse allegations, per the complaint.
Text messages between Streaker and Cotter showed a conversation in which they discussed what story to tell the hospital about the boy’s injuries that wouldn’t get the police involved, the complaint said.
On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Cotter to nine years for criminal abuse of a child and described his actions as “horrific.”
“Obviously whether you’re sober or not sober, you have a tendency to be very aggressive physically,” Judge Patricia Summe told Cotter. “And to take that out on a 15-month-old is pretty horrific. It’s really horrific when you imagine that it’s been done in the past and you did it again.”
The past incident the judge refers to is Cotter’s 2007 charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Cotter killed a 2-year-old girl by shaking her, according to police.
He served 10 years in prison before being released in June 2017 with five years probation.
While on probation, Cotter invited Streaker and her 15-month-old son to move in with him in Covington in June 2019.
Streaker was sentenced to seven years in prison for allowing her child to be abused and for not seeking treatment for the boy’s injuries.
As for the little boy, he is now in the care of family members.