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Published April 17, 2010, 12:01 PM

Minn. man sentenced to prison for punching toddler

ELK RIVER, Minn. (AP) — A Ham Lake man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after confessing to punching a 3-year-old girl because she was crying.

ELK RIVER, Minn. (AP) — A Ham Lake man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after confessing to punching a 3-year-old girl because she was crying.

The St. Cloud Times reports that court records show that two years ago the girl suffered a perforated bowel and needed surgery to repair the injury.

Sherburne County District Court Judge Robert Varco sentenced 29-year-old Joshua Paul Emery on Friday. Emery had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree assault.

The criminal complaint says Emery was helping his sister at her day care in Clear Lake when the young girl started crying. He told investigators he "lost it" and hit her a few times.

Assistant Sherburne County Attorney Suzanne Bollman says Emery apologized to victim's the victim at the sentencing hearing.

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