CLEARFIELD – A DuBois woman accused of hurting foster children in her care was sentenced during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.
Sue Ann Sheets, 41, 1695 Carson Hill Rd., DuBois, pleaded guilty to three counts of recklessly endangering another person and was sentenced to four years probation. She was fined $700 plus costs.
Judge Paul E. Cherry also stated Sheets is prohibited from being a foster parent.
Originally, she was charged with four counts each of endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and harassment. Assistant District Attorney Trudy Lumadue explained that there were problems dealing with the mother and the children who were the victims. She stated this was the best the commonwealth could do to have justice in this case.
The charges stem from incidents that occurred between July of 2009 and May of 2013. According to the affidavit of probable cause, Sheets scraped the buttocks of the victims with a tongue compressor, cleaned them with rubbing alcohol and put a hot scalding spoon on the buttocks of two victims, burning them.
On July 11, 2013, police met with representatives of Clearfield County Children, Youth and Family Services regarding three foster children who had been living with Sheets. The children were taken back to Ohio to live with their biological mother. Once there, they disclosed abuse while at the Sheets residence, which was reported to the Licking County Department of Job and Family Services in Newark, Ohio.
One of the children reported that Sheets and her husband, John were good to their biological children but the rest of the children were punished. When she was 9 or 10 years old, Sheets would heat a spoon on the stove until it got hot and then put it on their bottoms under their clothes. She also held matches to their bottoms and burned them or poured hot water on their heads for punishment.
Another child told police that he lived with John and Sue Sheets for 10 years. Everything was fine for the first eight years and then it changed. Sheets beat him with a belt, a bat or anything else she could find. He also stated she burned him with matches and described how she would use a hot spoon to burn them. He said he had scars from this assault.
Two of the children said they were locked in their rooms at night with alarms on the doors that would go off if they left to go to the bathroom. If Sheets heard the alarm she would get angry. She gave them buckets to use if they had to go to relieve themselves during the night.
When Sheets was interviewed by police, she explained she took in her cousin’s three children in 2003. Later she adopted three other children. She said her cousin’s children had issues with the adopted children and it was a battle all the time. She claimed the children would purposely wet their beds or their pants because she would have to clean it up. She said she made them wear diapers.
She was interviewed again in August of 2013 during which she admitted to putting a hot spoon on one of the children a couple times. She admitted to burning the boy’s brother but not his sister. She denied ever heating the spoons on the stove. She explained she would heat the spoon by placing it under hot water. She would then place the spoon on their buttocks for a short time. Next she put alcohol on it so it would hurt more when she cleaned them. She was hoping this would make them stop going to the bathroom in their pants. She denied hitting them with a bat.
When asked why she burned the children, she related they were mean.