Man gets life in prison in Calif. teen torture

February 28, 2011 12:37:54 PM PST
A central California man was sentenced Monday to three life sentences in prison for torturing a boy who said he was burned and beaten while being held captive for more than a year.

Anthony Waiters was ordered to serve the three life sentences concurrently. He'll be eligible for parole after nearly 19 years.

Waiters, 31, was the only one of four defendants to go to trial on charges that they held Kyle Ramirez captive inside a Tracy home where he testified he was kept shackled to furniture.

Waiters, a former youth football coach who didn't take the witness stand during his trial, told San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Terrence Van he was innocent and has love and respect for "Mr. Kyle" and his family.

"I'm not a malevolent person," Waiters said. "I believe I'm altruistic."

Waiters was convicted in November of torture, kidnapping, child abuse and false imprisonment.

Ramirez testified during the trial that Waiters cut him, lit his pants on fire and beat him unconscious between 2007 and 2008.

The emaciated teen, then 16, escaped to a health club in December 2008 wearing only boxer shorts and a shackle on his ankle.

Waiters' neighbors and the teen's then-legal guardian accepted pleas. They are each serving more than 30 years in prison.

Earlier this month, lawyers for the teen filed a claim against Sacramento County Child Protective Services accusing the agency of ignoring signs of abuse for seven years.