By Patrick Donachie
An Ozone Park woman has been convicted of abusing and starving her stepdaughter for a period of two years, the Queens district attorney said.
Sheetal Ranot, 35, was found guilty of first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child after a day of deliberations by a jury, according to DA Richard Brown. Rajesh Ranot, the child’s biological father, has been charged with second and third-degree assault and will be tried at a later date, he said. The stepdaughter was abused when she was 10 to 12 years old.
Brown said Sheetal Ranot abused her stepdaughter, locking her inside her bedroom for long periods of time and often refusing to feed her between the period of Dec. 1, 2012 and May 6, 2014. Ranot hit her stepdaughter repeatedly on her body and face and would strike and kick her in the face while wearing footwear, the DA said.
“A jury weighed the evidence, which included the once undernourished victim’s testimony in court, and found the defendant guilty of abusing the girl for more than a year and a half. The pre-teen was locked in her bedroom by her stepmother without food or even water for extended periods of time,” Brown said. “The victim was struck with a metal broom handle and a wooden rolling pin until she was bloody and still carries these scars and others on her body to this day. No child deserves to be treated in this manner.”
When Sheetal Ranot struck the child in the face with a wooden rolling pin on April 16, 2014, her injuries from the incident required treatment at a hospital, according to trial testimony. During that visit, doctors noted that the victim was underweight, weighing only 58 pounds. On May 6, 2014, Sheetal Ranot hit the young victim with a broken metal broom handle, the DA said.
After medical assistance arrived at the Ranots’ home to treat the young girl, they found her in a pool of blood in the kitchen with the tendons on her left wrist cut to the bone. She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital and required surgery to treat her injuries. During her stay, doctors noted other bruises, marks and scars. The child was removed from the home by city officials soon after the incident. According to Brown, the detective squad from the 106th Precinct conducted the investigation, and the DA also lauded the Queens Child Advocacy Center for assisting in the abuse investigation.
Sheetal Ranot is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8 and faces up to 25 years in prison.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona