Dad gets 10 years for whipping sons with electrical cord

San Mateo County Superior Judge John Grandsaert today sentenced a Redwood City father accused of whipping his two young sons with an electrical cord to 10 years and eight months in state prison.

Lavadis Henderson, 35, was sentenced for two felony counts of infliction of corporeal punishment on a child resulting in a traumatic condition, Deputy District Attorney Sarah Boxer said. Henderson repeatedly struck his 9- and 11-year-old sons on the buttocks with a vacuum cleaner extension cord.

The boys' injuries were reported to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office by Menlo Park'sGarfield Charter School officials, who were investigating graffiti vandalism at the school that was allegedly done by one of the boys, according to Boxer. The sheriff's office then notified Child Protective Services and Henderson was arrested.

The injuries were reportedly inflicted between January and May of 2007, according to Boxer.

Henderson, who has four prior criminal convictions – two for rape, one for sodomy on a child under age 14 and another for lewd acts on a child under age 14, according to Boxer – had been ordered by a Sacramento County court to have no contact with the boys and their mother, but they were found to have been living with him in his Redwood City apartment.

Both Henderson and his wife of a week, 21-year-old Emma Gonzalez testified during the sentencing that Henderson is trying to turn his life around.

Grandsaert said that he understood Henderson was attempting to make changes in his life, but the violence that he had inflicted upon his children was unacceptable.

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