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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Spc. Milton J. Barratta III could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years’ confinement for allegedly dumping a pot of nearly boiling water on his 15-month-old stepson last June.

A court-martial for Barratta, an ammunition specialist with the 23rd Ordnance Company, started Wednesday in Kaiserslautern. He faces one charge of assault.

Capt. Kevin McCarthy, the prosecutor, opened by reading a statement that Barratta signed in front of investigators on June 22, the day after the incident.

Barratta’s stepson bit him in the back of the leg while Barratta was at the stove, according to testimony.

“I grabbed the pot and began pouring boiling water on his lips,” according to Barratta’s statement to Criminal Investigation Command investigators.

Barratta testified Wednesday that he did not intend to harm the child and was sorry for what had happened. Capt. Mark Vetter, representing Barratta, said Barratta had been awake for more than 30 hours when he signed the statement before a Criminal Investigation Command investigator.

Also on Wednesday, the judge, Col. James Pohl, granted a defense motion that Barratta be found not guilty of an assault specification for allegedly striking his stepson after the child bit his leg. Earlier, Barratta pleaded guilty to making a false official statement for initially lying to investigators.

Barratta’s court-martial is to resume Thursday.


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