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article imageFather admits he beat, burned son before pushing him into an oven

By Joan Firstenberg     Aug 2, 2011 in Crime
New York - The Staten Island District Attorney calls the acts of brutality that 53-year old James Moss is accused of committing against his son one of the most shocking and sadistic cases of child abuse he has ever prosecuted.
The Staten Island father, a hulking 6'2" tall, weighing 270 pounds pleaded guilty Tuesday to torturing his 9-year-old son. The Gothamist reports that he told the court he did it because he thought the boy had stolen $20 from his wallet.
Police say James Moss stripped the child naked, then beat him on the back with a kitchen spatula. After that, as he told his son, he would kill him, he heated up two top burners on the kitchen stove and held the defenseless boy's hands over them until his skin began to peel. Prosecutors said Moss punched his son in the face and then forced him to crawl into the oven, threatening to turn it on while the child was inside.
According to published reports, he hollered at the boy,
"I'm going to burn you alive!"
Prosecutors say they've talked with the child, and when James Moss comes up for sentencing this Friday, they say they know his son will urge a judge to spare his father from prison. Moss is facing up to seven years in prison for the horrendous attacks on his son on May 12, 2010.
The New York Daily News reports that Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan says the boy screamed and begged to be let out of the oven. The dad threatened to turn it on, but eventually let him out and threw him, still naked, out the front door.
Court papers charge that the skin was falling off the boy's charred hands, but Moss ignored his son's pain, and never took him to a hospital. Instead, Moss ordered Christopher to sit naked on the floor "like a dog."
Christopher complied and sat naked until his mother came home and finally took him to a hospital. He was treated for second-and-third-degree burns, and cuts to his back and knees.
District Attorney Donovan says Moss pleaded guilty to the seven-count indictment and didn't ask for any type of lenient deal. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, assault, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child and other crimes.
Court papers call Christopher's decision to ask the judge for leniency remarkable, but they also say the pain he experienced during the attack will be long-lasting.
A pre-sentencing report reads...
"Christopher, being a young child, is probably forgiving of his father and missing his family unit. However, it is clear that the events of that night and the defendant's actions towards Christopher will stay with Christopher for the rest of his life."
More about mean father, stolen money, Beating, Burning
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