A surgeon arrested in Grand Forks after assaulting his disabled foster son in Minnesota received a 43-month prison sentence today.
Dr. Dennis James Sullivan, 50, of Benedict, Minn., received the sentence during a hearing in Hubbard County District Court.
According to a news release from Hubbard County prosecutors, Judge Paul Rasmussen rejected Sullivan’s request today for a more lenient sentence than the spelled out in the state’s guidelines.
In August, Sullivan pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted assault for trying to suffocate his foster child. Prosecutors dismissed charges ranging from third-degree assault to attempted second-degree murder.
During that hearing, Sullivan said the boy he and his wife took in under foster care and were planning on adopting was blind, wheelchair-bound and severely mentally disabled.
Previously, Sullivan told the court he placed a glove in the boy’s mouth “in front of his tongue and behind his teeth” so the child could not bite him, then placed his hand over the boy’s mouth to interrupt his breathing.
He testified that his wife, Rebecca Sullivan, caught him. The criminal complaint states that he fled that same day to a Grand Forks mental health center, where he was arrested.