Man who pulled autistic boy's teeth out sentenced to prison

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia-area man accused of severely beating a 4-year-old autistic boy and pulling out three of his teeth has been sentenced to two to 10 years in prison.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 28-year-old Nicholas Kernechel apologized Monday in Montgomery County Court.

The East Greenville resident pleaded guilty in May to simple assault and reckless endangerment. A felony count of assault of a child under 13 was dropped in a plea deal aimed at sparing the child from having to testify.

Kernechel expressed remorse Monday and said his heroin addiction had wreaked havoc on his loved ones before.

The child's mother said in a statement read by the prosecutor Kernechel is "a monster who abused a child with special needs."