LOCK HAVEN — An Avis man, Rick D. Anstead, 23, was sentenced Monday by Clinton County Judge Michael F. Salisbury to a minimum of 18 years and 10 months to a maximum of 40 years in a state correctional facility on four cases of child abuse committed upon two seventeen-month-old twin boys over the course of several months in 2016. Anstead had been arrested by Lock Haven police last year and entered a guilty plea in November.
At sentencing, Clinton County District Attorney Dave Strouse asked the court to impose the maximum period of incarceration permitted by law. In arguing for a severe sentence, Strouse argued, “There is no type of mental health disorder or background that can rationalize the kind of horrific abuse that these two victims had to endure. This case represents one of the worst instances of child abuse that I have seen, and one of the worst that Lock Haven City Police have investigated.”
Anstead was represented by Public Defender David Lindsay who outlined Anstead’s own personal history as a victim of abuse, and asked the court to consider that history in determining an appropriate sentence. Sentencing in the case had been originally delayed in February so the defense could provide the court with a psychological evaluation that had been conducted on the defendant.
Anstead also addressed the court, apologizing for his actions saying, “not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I did to those boys.” Anstead said he had no excuse for abusing the boys, but that he thought his actions stemmed from his own abusive childhood.
In imposing the sentence, Salisbury pointed to the extemly violent nature of the crimes, Anstead’s inability to obey regulations while he was housed at the Clinton County Correctional Facility and his extensive criminal record as the basis for imposing the lengthy sentence.
The city police investigation into the case determined that injuries to one of the twins were sufficiently severe to send him to the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. A criminal affidavit said Anstead confessed to punching the twins in the head and pushing them to the ground. He said he did so because they were crying while under his care.