Bolingbrook day care provider sentenced to six years for burning child with hot water

January 10

JOLIET — Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow announced that a Bolingbrook day care provider who burned the hand of a 2-year-old child under her care has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes sentenced Sharon Holt, 35, formerly of 139 Springleaf Drive, Bolingbrook on Wednesday. Holt cared for the boy at her home, which she called “Big Momma’s Day Care.”

Holt was convicted of one count of aggravated battery to a child at the conclusion of a four-day bench trial in October. The charge is a Class X felony that carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence of six years with no option for probation. She must serve 85 percent of her sentence. 

On Dec. 1, 2004, the defendant immersed the child’s hand in water that was hotter than 115 degrees. The child suffered a second-degree burn that required three surgeries and weeks of post-operative physical therapy to treat. His surgeon at one point feared his fingers might meld together while healing.

“Most day care providers in our community provide an invaluable resource for working parents, but this case is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Glasgow said. “Sharon Holt is going to prison for violating a sacred trust by scalding an innocent and vulnerable little boy and shattering his mother’s expectation of safety and security.”

Holt initially said the child suffered a cut, and she offered ointment to the boy’s mother when she picked him up that day. She later told police she accidentally ran hot water instead of cold on the boy’s hand while washing the cut. But three physicians testified during the trial that they examined the wound and found no evidence of a cut.

Dr. Emalee Flaherty, the director of the Child Protective Services team at Children’s Memorial Hospital, testified that she observed neither splash-mark burns nor parallel lines of burn, both of which would have been consistent with placing the child’s hand under hot running water. The wound was an immersion burn, with a clear line of injury on the front and back of the hand, she testified. As a result, she determined the injury was inflicted intentionally.

Glasgow praised Bolingbrook Det. Scott Lustik, who investigated the injury, as well as his two prosecutors, Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Jones, who recently was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a Will County Circuit Judge, and Assistant State’s Attorney Jessica Colon-Sayre, for bringing a measure of justice to the boy and his family.