Luke VanBerkom Admits To Abusing Another Child
A Sheridan man who already has one child abuse conviction on his record, is admitting that he committed the same offense with a different victim.
Thirty-one year old Luke VanBerkom has pleaded guilty to one charge of child abuse.
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office says in August 2014, the mother of the two children reported they had been assaulted, while under VanBerkom's care.
One of the children said he and his younger brother were alone with VanBerkom and were picking up trash in their yard.
VanBerkom, who was drinking, was upset they weren't working fast enough, and took the boy inside and spanked him.
The younger brother then went inside and when he back came out, he had a bloody nose, a red line across the bridge of his nose and a blistered hand.
In the interview, the younger child said VanBerkom hit him on one ear with an open hand and the other ear with a closed fist, all while holding the young boy's hand in hot water from a sink, later determined to be 137.5 degrees.
VanBerkom told sheriff's deputies in a phone interview that the younger brother had been swimming in a pool and began to walk inside.
VanBerkom told him to rinse off the mud, but the child slipped, and he caught him which resulted in cuts on both of them.
He rushed the child inside, turned on the hot water and held all of their hands under the faucet.
However, VanBerkom could not explain why only one of the child's hands was burned.
He told deputies he left the residence because of relationship issues with the children's mother.
He also said he had taken a drug used for treating alcohol withdrawal that can cause drowsiness, dizziness and other side effects.
Vanberkom is being held on $150,000 bond and could face up to five years in prison, when he is sentenced at a later date.
He already has one child abuse conviction back in 2005, on his criminal record.