Police let his child die to mistreatment: he is sentenced to 25 years in prison in New York
Michael Valva, a former NYPD police officer, was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison for the death of his 8-year-old autistic son, who suffered continued abuse while in the custody of his father and stepmother, according to the indictment on Long Island.
Before a packed courtroom, Valva broke down, expressing remorse: ‘I am full of shame, broken and sorrowful’, he said, while appearing before Judge William Condon at Suffolk Criminal Court in Riverhead. ‘I loved Thomas with all my heart’… I didn’t want my son to die,” he quoted. Pix11.
“I am full of shame, broken and sorrowful”
Michael Valva, former NYPD officer
Last month Valva was found guilty of all charges against him, including the highest, second degree murder. He faced a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison. The investigation determined forced his son Thomas to sleep in an unheated garage in sub-zero temperatures in January 2020, resulting in the death of the abused boy at his Long Island home.
The investigation carried out by the authorities revealed evidence of alleged physical abuse and neglect by Valva and his then-girlfriend, Angela Pollinabetween September 2017 and January 2020, including reports from the East Moriches School District alleging that on numerous occasions Thomas and his brother Anthony they came to school hungry, cold, dirty, or marked with scratches, bruises, and cuts.
Valva and Pollina were arrested at the same time and accused of second degree murder and endangering a minor by acting with “depraved indifference to human life.” Both pleaded “not guilty.”
Pollina remains in detention and her trial will take place on a date yet to be determined. “It was clear from all the evidence, substantial evidence, that she was the dictator of discipline in that home, that she controlled not only Michael, but that she also had a lover in that home who lived with her,” he said. defense attorney for the police officer, John LoTurco, during the dramatic trial, according to ABC News.
The boy’s death on January 17, 2020 was reportedly the culmination of years of relentless abuse suffered by Thomas and his brothers, including spending hunger, cold and tortureit transpired in the trial against Valva in Riverhead.
“I’ll beat them until they bleed” Valva texted Pollina about the children, Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Laura Newcombe told jurors, according to Newsday. “It’s the only thing that works.”
The latest mistreatment occurred when the then-cop forced the boy to sleep in an unheated garage at his home as the temperature dropped to 19 degrees F (-7C) and then doused him with ice water, causing hypothermia, prosecutors told the jury.
Justyna Zubko Valva, biological mother de Thomas, had denounced the abuse of her three children at the hands of her ex-husband, a police officer and in June 2020 filed a $200 million federal lawsuit. She had lost custody of her three children as well due to Valva’s alleged abuse of power. Three daughters also lived in the home where Thomas died. from Pollina.
The mother alleged in the lawsuit that Long Island courts, school officials and social service agencies failed to protect the boy from his abusive police fatherdespite the many signs before he froze to death.
“Zubko Valva had presented evidence to the court, CPS (child protective services), the police and the children’s lawyers (Family Court) several times that showed the serious physical, mental and sexual abuse of their children by Valva and Pollina,” their plaintiff lawyer said then. Days after Thomas’s death, his mother regained custody of her two surviving children.
Several children died in the last months of 2021 in NYC victims of alleged abuse in their homes. Other cases have also been reported in 2022. Even this week a teenager with cerebral palsy was found burned to death inside his Brooklyn home and the death was ruled a homicide by police, but no arrests have been announced.
If you are a victim or suspect that someone is being mistreated, especially if they are a minor or elderly person:
- Call 911 or 1.888.NYCWELL (1.888.692.9355).
- Send the text message “WELL” a 65173.
- Check information in https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/es/