SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A registered sex offender is accused of hitting a 4-year-old Sarasota County boy in the head with a baseball bat and ramming the child’s head against the wall. The boy’s mother is accused of providing false information to medical personnel and law enforcement. Both are being held without bond in the Sarasota County Jail.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies say the boy’s head injury was discovered on July 10th. The child was taken to Venice Regional Bayfront Health and then airlifted to All Children’s Hospital after doctors determined the boy’s brain was swollen and bleeding.
Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office say the victim’s mother, Sara King, said the boy fell and hit his head in a kiddie pool earlier that week, and then fell and hit his head on a tree root the following Friday, which caused him to act lethargic and have a seizure. Doctors said that information was not consistent with the boy’s injuries.
Detectives were contacted and determined that the child lives with his mother, three other adults and three children at a home on Verona Street in Nokomis. During an interview with a DCF Child Protection Investigator and detectives, a 5-year-old boy who lives in the home said the victim was in the bedroom belonging to Sean Cody Sickler when Sickler hit the victim on the right side of his head with a baseball bat.The witness said the victim passed out, lifted his left arm “and then he was dead.”
Investigators also went to the victim’s hospital room and found him alert and very talkative. He explained Sickler hits his head against the wall and calls it “ramming time.” The boy said he is scared of Sickler and that he kicked him and made him fall onto the floor, according to investigators.
Sickler is charged with aggravated child abuse. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office says he has eight prior arrests including armed robbery, domestic battery. Sickler is also a registered sex offender following a 2006 arrest for sexual battery on a victim 12 to 15 years of age.
King is charged with child neglect with great bodily harm. Investigators say that in addition to providing false information to law enforcement and medical personnel as to how and when the child’s injury occurred, which may have hindered his medical treatment, she also knew as far back as 2013 that Sickler was physically abusing her son. King has 15 prior arrests including burglary, grand theft and drug possession.
Both Sickler and King are currently being held without bond.