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Sarasota man Sentenced to 12 years in prison for child abuse

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - A sentencing hearing was held last week for a Sarasota man accused of fracturing a 3-year-old's skull. 

On Sept. 24, 2016, Nicholas Ritter brought the daughter of his then girlfriend to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The child had suffered critical injuries, including two skull fractures, a subgaleal hematoma, and significant bruising to her face and neck.  The child was in acute respiratory failure and spent almost two weeks in the hospital, with several days in a coma. 

Ritter, who left the hospital after the mother arrived, initially told authorities the girl had fallen off the toilet while in his care. This explanation did not satisfy authorities, as the injuries were not consistent with such a fall. 

Later, Ritter admitted that he slapped the child, which still does not account for the extensive injuries. Finally, Ritter stated that he was trying to get high on drugs and the child kept bothering him, so he shoved her head-first into the bathtub.

Ritter had pleaded with the judge for leniency, claiming to have no memory of the incident due to his drug use. Asking for probation instead of jail time to seek help for his addiction. 

The judged denied this request and sentenced Ritter to 12 years in prison, followed by 15 years of probation.

In a press release from the Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit, they state that the sentence shows that drug abuse and addiction will never be an excuse for harming a child. 

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