The man accused of pulling three permanent teeth out of the mouth of a developmentally disabled child in his care pleaded guilty in Schoharie County Court Friday to assault in the second degree, a class D felony.
Steven D. Walker, 34, of Gallupville, was arrested Nov. 21 and accused of assaulting the 8-year-old child by extracting three of her teeth with a pair of pliers.
The case began after the girl complained of mouth pain at school and was examined by her regular dentist, who noted that three of her permanent teeth had been forcibly removed.
The child was taken out of the home and placed in foster care at the start of the investigation.
Although Walker pleaded guilty Friday, he still didn’t admit to the assault because he entered an Alford plea. An Alford plea allows a person to plead guilty to a crime without admitting to it.
The sentencing hearing will take place Jan. 7.
Walker is not expected to serve more than four years in state prison, with three years of post-release supervision.
Schoharie County Commissioner of Social Services Paul Brady in December said that the girl was placed with a family she knows.
Community concern for the girl had led Brady to set up an account for her at NBT Bank.
Those wishing to donate to the account can do so at any NBT Bank branch. Checks or money orders should be made payable to “Paul Brady Custodian.” All money donated to the fund will be used for her long-term needs once she leaves foster care.