A Seaside man was sentenced to 15 months in jail Monday after his actions almost led to the death of a child.
Clatsop County Circuit Court Judge Paula Brownhill sentenced James N. Toyas, 25, of Seaside to jail time and five years post-prison supervision for the attempted assault of a two-year-old child.
If he violates his probation, he will face five years of additional jail time.
In June 2008, Toyas was watching his girlfriend's two children when the younger child got something in her eye.
To wash it out, he either put her in the sink or the shower - his account varies - and ran cold water over her, managing to drop her core body temperature to a dangerous 91 degrees, according to the medics' report.
Her mother, Nichole Bostick, came home unexpectedly and said she found her daughter naked, wet and shivering.
Toyas, however, said he had the girl wrapped in a towel.
Toyas did not want Bostick to call 9-1-1, but she did anyway, Bostick told authorities.
The child stabilized and is now doing well.
"You are really lucky the state didn't charge you with attempted murder," said Judge Brownhill. They would have had a strong case, she said.
The victim's family was not present at Monday's sentencing, but Toyas' father, Nick Toyas, testified.
He described a young man with problems who was doing his best to make something of himself. He urged the court to recognize this.
Prior to the charges, the elder Toyas said his son was "irresponsible with no sense of self worth as I see it."
Since the incident "the changes have been immense," Nick Toyas said. "He's become my son again."
Nick Toyas is a chiropractor in Seaside. His son worked for him for a while.
"In 35 years of practice, I've never had anyone take care of my patients (so well)," he said.
His son has consistently made bad decisions, he said, but the potential is still there.
"This is not a malicious person. I know he did not intentionally try to harm that child," he said.
James Toyas also spoke at his sentencing.
"I gave every bit of my heart to Nichole and those kids," he said. "I'm guilty of stupidity and I'm guilty of carelessness. ... I neglected that child."
He said he wanted to repay his debt and to prove that he'd "never ever ever hurt anybody."
"What you did was inexcusable, unforgivable and you almost killed this child," Judge Brownhill said. "You didn't intend to kill her, but you acted knowingly."
"It sounds like you have ... talents and strengths," Judge Brownhill added. "But don't ever provide childcare for any children."
"This is his chance to set everything straight," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Dawn Buzzard, who handled the case for the state. "He says he wants to, so it's on his head now."