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PA woman sentenced to 65 years in child abuse case

BEAUMONT — A Port Arthur woman who was found guilty o two counts of injury to a child was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Monday.

Christine Johnson, 22, received the 65 year sentence on a charge of knowingly by omission causing injury to her then five-week old daughter Faith Mason. The child, dubbed “Baby Faith” by media, suffered more than 40 broken bones and fractures and brain damage. Some of her injuries occurred at the age of two-weeks old.

Johnson was also found guilty of the second degree felony of reckless injury to a child and received the maximum punishment, 20 years.

A jury of 11 men and one woman deliberated a total of three hours on Monday.

Prosecutor Randi King said Johnson will serve the sentence concurrently and would be eligible for parole in 30 years. King prosecuted the case along with Assistant District Attorney Pat Knauth.

“We feel good about the length of the sentence,” King said via phone after the trial was concluded. “This amount of time ensures that by the time she gets out she won’t be having any children, keep her from doing this again.”

Though the trial is over, Baby Faith remains in a therapeutic foster home out-of-town. The child, now 2, cannot walk, talk or eat on her own.

“She still needs a forever home,” King said. “CPS is interviewing families and there are many children in CPS care statewide who need forever homes like that. A safe, secure place to grow up where they can have a real childhood.”

Faith Mason was brought to Christus Hospital-St. Mary on Aug. 18, 2013 suffering from a broken neck that medical experts said was due to being jerked and having her head hyperflex. Further tests showed more than 40 broken bones, some of which occurred three weeks prior, as well as brain damage.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

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