ST. ALBANS, Queens — A Queens foster mom has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after being convicted of assault when her 19-month-old foster son was found severely burned on his lower body.
According to District Attorney Richard Brown, 37-year-old Shirley Verneus, of St. Albans section of Queens, brought her foster, Jaurelious Green, to the St. Christopher Ottile Foster Agency in Queens, on January 17, 2014, for a scheduled visit with his biological parents.
During the visit, a St. Christopher caseworker observed bandages around the child’s legs and asked Verneus what had happened to the child.
Verneus, the child’s sole caretaker, claimed that she was in another room inside her St. Albans home and heard the child, who was in the bathroom unattended with a three-year-old, screaming.
The foster mother told the caseworker that she saw Jaurelious sitting in the bathtub with the water running and that when she removed the child from the tub, his skin peeling off.
Verneus then told the caseworker that she took Jaurelious to a medical clinic but she could not provide any information or documentation regarding such a visit nor did she report the injury to the foster care agency, officials say.
The child was later taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Burn Unit, where medical personnel said Jaurelious suffered second- and third-degree burns from the top of his thighs down to the soles of his feet on both legs and burns on his buttocks.
A further examination revealed Jaurelious will suffer severe permanent scarring and will likely require plastic surgery to alleviate some of the damage caused by the burns.
Medical evidence proved the foster mother failed to seek prompt medical attention for more than a week which caused the potential for life-threatening infections and other serious complications.
Verneus was convicted in March of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.