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Mother charged with burning 3-month-old

MANATEE — A Manatee woman has been arrested on a charge of child neglect after authorities say she burned her baby with scalding hot water in a kitchen sink.

Manatee County sheriff deputies arrested Tashae Wortham, 22, on a warrant Friday, more than a year after her 3-month-old baby suffered burns on 20 percent of his body, the sheriff’s report said. It was unclear why there was a delay in making the charges.

On April 11, 2008, Wortham took her child to the kitchen sink to wash him off after he threw up while eating. Doctors estimated Wortham put the child under water ranging from 120 degrees to 140 degrees in temperature, causing second-degree burns on the boy’s body, arms and legs, the sheriff’s report said.

Investigators consulted with a medical doctor, who said if the water was 140 degrees the child would have been held under the running water for one to two seconds, according to the report.

For water to be at 120 degrees, he said the child would have been held under the water for about one to two minutes.

“The defendant should have known placing her child under the sink with hot water running would cause a severe injury to the infant child,” the report stated.

The sheriff’s report said because Wortham did not have injuries to her hands, it was a cause of “concern if the child was placed under the water as a form of discipline or punishment.” On Saturday, Manatee County Judge George K. Brown set a $50,000 bond for Wortham. She remained in jail Tuesday.

“He was OK. He’s still in my custody,” she said in open court.

Wortham told the court she is attending parenting classes.