A laundry list of serious injuries, a paralyzed 30-month-old little girl and a local man pleading guilty to the incident.

Judge Nancy Fahey found no other way to describe it.

“You are a despicable person for what you did to that child,” she told defendant Jeffery McGehee in court Tuesday.

Jeffery McGehee, 24, of Georgetown appeared in Vermilion County Circuit Court for sentencing on charges of aggravated battery of a child and predatory criminal sexual assault, both Class X felonies. He entered a plea agreement in mid-May.

Standing before the court, he offered an apology to the young victim and her mother and acknowledged his mistakes.

“I messed up and that all that matters,” he said.

McGehee was arrested and arraigned in late February 2007, accused of a variety of illegal sexual acts with a then-14-month-old girl. At that time, he also was accused of doing great bodily harm to the child, according to the criminal charges.

Assistant State’s Attorney Larry Mills listed off the child’s injuries for the court: bruised chest, ribs and back as well as her head, eye and cheek; cuts and lacerations on her mouth and chin; a burn on her right foot; and injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

“She is going to have to pay for this the rest of her life,” he said, calling the injuries “incredible.”

McGehee admitted he hit the little girl in the chest that day, saying she was getting into his drugs. But he maintained during in-court testimony that he put her to bed in her crib and then blacked out. He offered no explanation to the court for the list of other injuries the victim suffered.

Fahey refused McGehee’s defense and, saying she saw little remorse from him, sentenced McGehee to the maximum 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on each count.

Under state law, the sentences must be consecutive and at least 85 percent of the prison terms must be service.

With that, McGehee faces 50 years in prison.

Defense attorney Roy Wilcox painted a difficult life for his client, calling McGehee’s mother and brother to the stand to confirm abuse of the defendant by his alcoholic father when he was a child and his battle with using crack cocaine.

“I’m not going to allow you to use your drug use and your choices as an excuse for what you have done,” Fahey said.

Testimony during the hearing indicated the Department of Child and Family Services revoked the parent rights of the mother of the little girl, who is no longer living in the area.

Paul Yates, foster parent of the victim since she was released from the hospital in April 2007, took the stand and described what the child has faced since the incident, including brain surgeries, partial paralysis on the left side of her body and numerous therapy programs. She is expected back in the hospital in weeks for another brain surgery.

Although only at the mental stage of a 14-month-old, the 30-month-old victim has learned to walk again. However, her vision is impaired, communication is restricted to one word at a time, Yates said, and she deals with mental loops for hours where she repeats the same actions again and again.

“All that she knows is the left side of her body doesn’t work and it’s not going to work,” he told the court.

Yates said that although she still can get frustrated, the little girl has come a long way since the days following her battery and sexual assault.

“She’s got determination down pat,” he said.

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