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Wise man pleads guilty to assaulting 4-year-old girl

CLIFFORD JEFFERY • Jan 11, 2007 at 10:39 AM

GATE CITY - A 32-year-old Wise man pleaded guilty this week to charges stemming from an assault on the 4-year-old daughter of his girlfriend.

Dennis Bentley pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony child abuse and assault and battery on a family member.

The victim was a 4-year-old girl, said Scott County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lisa McConnell.

"This was a case of failure to seek medical attention," McConnell said. "The child was burned by a pot of boiling water on the stove."

Rather than seeking medical attention immediately, Bentley and the girl's mother, Dorinda May Gibson, waited two days and tried to treat her by putting her in a cold bath, McConnell said.

The girl's arm was broken when he tried to put her in the bath, she said.

Gibson is scheduled to be tried on charges of child abuse, malicious wounding and contempt of court on Jan. 23.

The assault happened back in December 2004, McConnell said. The case was originally thought to have happened in Wise County, she said. The girl was taken to the hospital in Norton, and that is where the investigation started, she said. Charges were filed at the Wise County Courthouse, but police discovered the assault actually occurred at a friend's home in Dungannon.

The case was handed over to Scott County officials in the spring of 2005, she said.

Bentley is scheduled to be sentenced on the charges March 5 in Scott County Circuit Court.

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