BRIDGEPORT — It was the worst case of child abuse local police and state experts said they had ever seen. The 5-year-old boy had numerous scars on both legs, his back and chest; his lip had been split, healed over and split again.
“This young child was flogged with a cord over and over again during an extended period of time. A portion of his ear is missing and we still don’t know how that occurred,” State’s Attorney John Smriga told Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin.
But 23-year-old Daquon Gomillion, pictured right, appeared oblivious to it all. He stood before the judge looking around the courtroom with no signs of concern.
During the brief hearing Gomillion pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child under the Alford Doctrine which means he doesn’t admit his guilt but concedes there is a good chance he could be found guilty if he went to trial.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 12.
A large group of his family sat in the back of the courtroom during the proceeding. They declined comment as they left the courtroom.
In September 2013, the boy’s mother brought the boy to a dentist on East Main Street for a pre-school checkup, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. The dentist called the state Department of Children and Families after noticing the boy had several broken teeth, scarring from a split lip and numerous crescent-shaped scars on both arms, the affidavit states.
The boy was subsequently examined by Dr. John Leventhal, of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, a leading expert in child-abuse treatment.
“This 5-year-old boy has extensive scarring over most of his body” Leventhal said. “The number of scars is too numerous to count and the number exceeds the number that I have ever seen on any other child.”
During an interview at the Center for Children and Families, the boy told investigators that he had been beaten by Gomillion with a brush and electric cords since he was a baby, the affidavit states. He said the beatings “hurt very bad” and he was made to apologize to Gomillion after each beating.
The mother, Jarelis Lugo, was subsequently arrested after police said she admitted Gomillion had been abusing the boy for years. She is awaiting trial on risk of injury charges.
Smriga said the boy is currently living with his grandparents but under the supervision of the state Department of Children and Families.