Whitefish Man Acquitted in Boy’s Scalding

By Beacon Staff

A District Court jury has acquitted a Whitefish man of charges filed against him after a 5-year-old boy in his care was scalded in a bathtub of hot water.

Juan Miguel Vasquez had faced charges of aggravated assault, criminal endangerment and assault on a minor after the boy was severely burned in October 2008.

Jurors deliberated for five hours Wednesday before returning their verdict.

Defense attorney Noel Larrivee said the boy’s injuries were the result of a horrible accident. During the trial, he argued that the boy was in the bathtub while the water was running, adjusted the water temperature and recoiled when the water became too hot, falling in the tub.

Prosecutors alleged and the boy testified that Vasquez pushed him into the hot water. The boy suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body and was hospitalized for three months.

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