A Wyandotte father was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation for his role in forcing his two young children to stand in steaming hot water for so long that the youngsters' feet were severely burned.
Brandon Edward Soules, 29, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of second-degree child abuse and was sentenced Wednesday.
Soules' attorney, Romi Mezy, said his client is very remorseful over what occurred.
"He has a severe substance abuse problem," Mezy said. "From his point of view, it was not an intentional act. He was under the influence at the time and didn't realize what was happening. ... He has admitted responsibility to the charges and has now received his sentence."
While serving his time at the Wayne County Jail, Mezy said, Soules is eligible for a county treatment program offered to some inmates.
If he successfully completes it, he could be released early and sent to an in-patient treatment program and ordered to undergo parenting classes, Mezy said.
"The judge made it very clear to him that if he violates the order, he could be sentenced to 23 months to 10 years in prison," Mezy said. "This is really his last opportunity to prove to the court that he is serious."
While Soules has a prior record — breaking and entering into a vehicle, being a minor in possession of alcohol, impaired driving, driving on an expired license and two separate cases of retail fraud — this case is the most severe, Mezy said.
"Everything goes back to his addiction and I don't think that he has ever had the benefit of any drug treatment," Mezy said. "This is probably the severest sentence that was ever imposed on him and I'm hoping it will get him to turn his life around."
Soules' girlfriend and the mother of the two children, 25-year-old Erica Anne Bohn, also is charged in the case. She also faces two counts of second-degree child abuse and has a bench trial set for March 1 in Wayne County Circuit Court. The charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Bohn remains locked up in the Wayne County Jail on a $20,000/10 percent bond.
While the case is pending and while Soules is locked up, both parents have been ordered to stay away from their children, a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, who remain in their grandparents' custody.
Mezy said Soules wants to regain custody once he gets his life turned around.
"He is very concerned and he wants to see his children again," Mezy said.