A Rock Hill man was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty in the 2015 beating of his girlfriend’s toddler daughter.
Rkeem Chiwacha Moffatt, 24, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first degree assault and battery in York County criminal court under an Alford plea. In an Alford plea a defendant not does not admit guilt but accepts the punishment of a guilty plea because a jury is likely to convict if there is a trial. It is treated as normal guilty plea for sentencing.
Moffatt was originally charged with felony child abuse, but pleaded guilty to assault and battery after a negotiated plea for the five-year sentence between prosecutors and Moffatt’s lawyer Geoff Dunn.
Both charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison.
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Moffatt also has to enter into a national child abuse registry upon release from prison, court records show.
In September 2015, the toddler was taken to a Charlotte hospital for fractured ribs and other injuries, said 16th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Sharon Kopp.
“The child had bruising, lacerations to her arms, legs, face and torso, and other injuries,” Kopp said. ‘The injuries were severe and she had to be rushed to a hospital for emergency surgery.”
Moffatt was a primary caregiver at the time of the injuries, Kopp said.
The child successfully came through surgery and other medical treatment, Kopp said. The child, now 5 years old, is in the custody of another family member, Kopp said.