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Father sentenced to 30 years in 10-year-old’s scalding death

Associated Press

ANOKA, Minn. — An Anoka County judge handed down a 30-year sentence Thursday — twice as harsh as the state’s sentencing guidelines recommended — for a man charged in the scalding death of his 10-year-old daughter.

Jordan Gonsioroski died after being submerged in a bathtub full of hot water last July. According to the criminal complaint, she had burns over 70 percent of her body. Investigators determined the water could have been as hot as 140 degrees. The autopsy also suggested she had not eaten for several days.

The girl was living with her father, Jason Gonsioroski, 27, and his girlfriend Julie Meier, 25, in Blaine when she died.

According to the criminal complaint, Jordan died because her father and Meier did not call for help right away. The medical examiner said that if she had received the proper medical care, she would have survived.

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Judge Lawrence Johnson decided to double the guidelines sentence for this type of crime because of the cruelty involved, because Jordan was so vulnerable, and because it happened in front of her siblings. With credit for time already served, Gonsioroski will be eligible for parole in just over 20 years.

It’s still not clear how Jordan got into the tub, or why. Jason Gonsioroski and Julie Meier both pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder, but pointed the finger at each other.

"It is clear Jordan was assaulted," the judge said, "and the defendant did nothing to help her or call for medical assistance that could have saved her life. ... A parent has no greater duty than to protect his children. The defendant totally failed in this duty, and as a result his daughter is dead."

Gonsioroski, who wore a green inmate jumpsuit, his hands shackled, said nothing.

Meier faces sentencing sometime in the next few weeks.

Gonsioroski’s attorney said that while his client’s actions were reprehensible, he was more passive than active in what happened to Jordan.

In a victim impact statement prior to sentencing, Jordan’s grandmother, Sharon Voigt, described Gonsioroski as "the most disgusting piece of human tissue that God ever created. He destroyed his family. We have no mercy for him. He will face judgment someday."

After Gonsioroski was sentenced, Jordan’s relatives continued to condemn him.

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"If it were up to me, I would do the same thing to him that he did to her," said Jordan’s mother, Amanda Johnson.

"This is so wrong. She had a life to live and she will never, ever have it. We will never, ever see her grow up," said Jordan’s aunt, Nancy Nelson.

The family also remembered a little girl who was full of life and who one day wanted to become a doctor.

"If she knew you, you’d get hugs. Very seldom was she down, but if you’d talk to her she’d smile again. ... She’s very much missed in our family," said Jordan’s great-grandmother, Florence Cohen.

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