Peoria man who burned child in shower sentenced to prison

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Willie Vail was sentenced on Wednesday, about six weeks after he was convicted of aggravated battery. | Google Streetview

PEORIA — A Peoria man convicted of beating and severely burning a 2-year-old girl by putting her into a scalding hot shower to punish her has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that 26-year-old Willie Vail was sentenced on Wednesday, about six weeks after he was convicted of aggravated battery.

Judge Kevin Lyons rejected Vail’s argument that he didn’t injure the girl last May but he said he didn’t think Vail meant to hurt the child as much as he did.

During the trial, prosecutors contended that Vail was watching the girl — who was not his — when he punished her for not eating popcorn properly by putting her into the shower. Court records indicate the girl suffered burns over 30 percent of her body.

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