ZANESVILLE — A Chandlersville man faces prison for holding an infant down and putting the fluid from a herpes lesion into her mouth.
On Monday, 22-year-old Alanzo Palmer Jr. pleaded guilty to one second-degree felony count kidnapping in the matter.
The baby’s mother recorded a conversation with Palmer, questioning why he would expose her child to his herpes infection, according to the Muskingum County Prosecutor's Office.
Palmer responded by saying he wanted the baby to have “something that she’ll be stuck with for the rest of her life.” Palmer explained that he popped an infected herpes wound and spread the discharge in the baby’s mouth.
Originally, Palmer was indicted with felonious assault by serious physical harm, child endangering by torture with serious physical harm, child endangering by abuse with serious physical harm, child endangering by neglect with serious physical harm, kidnapping for the purpose of causing serious physical harm and kidnapping to facilitate a felony. After a series of later tests, the baby did not test positive for the disease.
Since the child did not contract herpes as Palmer intended, the serious physical harm (infecting the child) which formed the basis for many of his charges did not ultimately occur.
Palmer was still guilty of kidnapping, however.
Kidnapping is one of the crimes under Ohio law that applies to a much broader set of circumstances than its name implies. While there may not have been serious physical harm, the facts still demonstrated that Palmer restrained the liberty of the baby while he was squirting the herpes fluids into her mouth. In doing so, he attempted to terrorize her and created a risk of serious physical harm. Those facts establish the crime of kidnapping under Ohio law. Furthermore, when kidnapping occurs and the person kidnapped is ultimately unharmed, the crime is a felony of the second degree.
Child endangering without serious physical harm is a misdemeanor offense, which cannot add any time to a felony sentence.
The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office will be arguing for the maximum sentence, which is eight years.
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Man faces prison for kidnapping baby in attempt to infect her with herpes