Mother's Boyfriend Gets 25 Years In Jail For Beating 6-Year-Old Child To Death

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A Harlem man who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend's 6-year-old son after months of horrific abuse has been hit with maximum prison term.

Rysheim Smith, 42, who was convicted of second-degree murder, manslaughter and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for the death of Zymere Perkins, was sentenced to 25 years in jail Monday.

Zymere died on Sept. 26, 2016, after suffering months-long abuse at the hands of his mother, Geraldine Perkins, and his mother's boyfriend, Smith, prosecutors told the court.

Investigators determined that Zymere had died from fatal child abuse syndrome as he had shown signs of acute and chronic abuse and neglect. The couple deprived Zymere of food and sleep, thrust him into icy showers and often beat him with belts and broomstick handles, reported NBC New York.

On the day of the child's death, Smith bludgeoned Zymere with a shower curtain rod and hung him on a bathroom hook while wet and unconscious. An autopsy later revealed that Zymere had more than 30 rib fractures.

"Despite how the prosecution has spoken about me, I loved Zymere Perkins," Smith claimed in Manhattan Supreme court Monday. "I do accept responsibility for him being in a toxic environment, I don’t have the financial means to take him out of it, though I was starting to," he added as per the New York Post.

However, Judge Ruth Pickholz rejected Smith's claim that he "loved" the boy and said that "the child did not see any love at home."

"This boy, this child, this 6-year-old innocent existed in a living hell," Pickholz said in court. "He was tortured. He was starved. He was forced to stand at night and not lay down."

Geraldine reported that she had seen Smith punching the boy and admitted that she had also beaten him. She earlier testified in court that she had spent 10 minutes putting on her makeup before taking her son's lifeless body to the hospital.

Geraldine received a plea deal to testify in a trial in exchange for a sentence of two to six years.

"Zymere didn't have to imagine anything to be afraid of," Assistant District Attorney Kerry O'Connell said during closing arguments. "He didn't have monsters. He had two horrible human beings living down the hall next to him."

The verdict brought an end to a high-profile child abuse case in New York City that has gained national attention.

"The death of Zymere Perkins was an unthinkable tragedy that sent shockwaves through the city and inspired a reckoning with how our social services system works to protect New York’s most vulnerable," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said after the guilty verdict in January 2020.

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Photo: Pixabay


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