A Fort Washakie man was recently sentenced to 10 years in federal court on two counts of abusing family members, according to federal court records and a press release from the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office.

Denver Lee John Sr., 44, heard the sentences handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne on Aug. 21.

The 10-year sentences -- one count of felony child abuse - mental injury, and one count of  felony child abuse - physical injury -- will be served concurrently, or at the same time.

Johnson also ordered him to serve three years of supervised probation after his release from custody, and during that time have no contact with anyone under 18 without a parent's or guardian's permission, and pay a $600 special assessment.

On June 1, John waived the indictment and pleaded guilty.

Court records say John physically and mentally abused his children and the children of his now ex-wife over several years.

The U.S. Attorney's press release says the abuse included punching, pulling hair, throwing children against the wall, throwing tools and other objects at the children, and striking a child so hard that the child could not sit for days. On one occasion, the defendant severely burned a child’s hand by holding it on a stovetop burner. On another occasion, the defendant threw a screwdriver at a child which lodged in the child’s head.

John also threatened to separate a child from the family if that child told anyone what he was doing.

This crime was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry J. Jacobson prosecuted the case.

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