Man pleads guilty to severely beating child who threw up during dinner

Crime Watch

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Sean Ryan

REXBURG — An Iona man accused of violently beating a 6-year-old two days before Christmas has pleaded guilty to one felony count of injury to a child.

Sean Ryan, 32, entered the guilty plea Jan. 29 as part of a plea agreement. Madison County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Wood tells the state can request a sentence of up to two years fixed time in prison. Ryan’s attorney is free to argue for a sentence he believes is appropriate.

Rexburg Police Lt. Ron Ball said in December that Ryan, who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs around 240 pounds, became upset with his girlfriend’s son after the boy threw up during dinner at her home.

Ryan is accused of causing bodily injury and mental suffering by “repeatedly spanking (the child) with a wood spatula, pushing him to the ground and then kicking him in the face, slapping him on the face and then spanking him again before making him take a cold shower,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by

Evidence photos show black bruises on the boy’s buttocks and large purple and red marks on his face and neck.

The child’s mother was home at the time but told officers she was unaware how extensive the injuries were until her son came out of the bedroom.

“(The child) stated that he had not told his mother what had happened initially and instead told her that he had fallen off of his bed and did not yell for help during the beating because he was too scared and because it ‘hurt too bad,’” court documents state.

The mother took her son to the Rexburg Police Department and reported the incident. The boy was taken to Madison Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.

Ryan will be sentenced March 26 by District Judge Gregory Moeller in Madison County.