Harrisburg man will serve 10-20 years for beating a 5-year-old with a steel broom

HARRISBURG — A Harrisburg man will serve at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he beat a five-year-old child with a belt and a steel broom, the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

James H. Slaughter, 30, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child in May. Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judge John F. Cherry sentenced him to 10-20 years in prison Friday.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle argued Slaughter’s conduct warranted the 10-20 year sentence.

“In 21 years as a child abuse prosecutor, I have not seen injuries this severe on a child who survived such a beating,” Gettle said in court. “This child had injuries over his entire body—not one area was spared—not even his genitals.”

Judge Cherry credited the defendant for pleading guilty to the charges and not making the child testify in a courtroom in a trial.

However, the Court indicated that the emotional scars would carry with the child forever and likened them to injuries seen on individuals who suffered in concentration camps.

The case was investigated by Det. Kirk Aldrich of the Harrisburg Police Department.