Schenectady County

Woman gets 18 years for assault on child

The Schenectady woman found guilty in April of smashing the skull of the 2-year-old she babysat a ye
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The Schenectady woman found guilty in April of smashing the skull of the 2-year-old she babysat a year ago was sentenced this morning to 18 years in prison.

Rebecca Polomaine, 31, of 475 Alexander St., was given her sentence at an emotional hearing that included statements by both parents of Riley Gilbert. Riley is now 3 and cannot talk or walk and is blind, the result of a severe brain trauma she suffered when Polomaine smashed her head into or onto a hard surface.

“Everyday, I come home and my daughter cannot run to me,” Riley’s father, Brad, said in court this morning. “She can’t say hi to me. She’s stuck in a chair.”

Medical professionals testified at Polomaine’s trial that the force required to cause the injury was equal to dropping the child from a second- or third-story balcony. Doctors at Albany Medical Center Hospital had to remove portions of Riley’s brain, which were damaged by swelling caused by the injury.

Polomaine faced a sentence of as much as 25 years following her conviction April 30 of first-degree assault and reckless assault of a child, both violent felonies. But Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino said while he considered the severity of the attack in calculating Polomaine’s sentence, he also took into account the fact that she has no previous criminal record, as well as that she has children of her own.

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