Man admits to child abuse, sexual assault

A man who was arrested last year on child abuse charges after neglecting his two children and severely beating his son, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Lycoming County Court.

Brett Allen Fields, 25, formerly of Trout Run, was facing 18 abuse-related charges after police found that he hadn’t provided the necessary care for their children and that Fields had beaten his then 18-month-old son so severely that he appeared developmentally challenged, according to a police affidavit of the incident.

Fields took a plea agreement and admitted guilt for the abuse-related charges. During the plea, which Scott J. Werner, assistant district attorney, referred to as a “global plea deal,” Fields also pleaded guilty for an earlier sexual assault case.

Fields is facing six to 12 years in state prison for the three felonies he pleaded guilty to — statutory sexual assault, aggravated assault of a child under 13 and endangering the welfare of a child.

When making the plea agreement with Fields, Werner said that even though many of the 18 abuse charges were dropped, the district attorney’s office felt it was important to have two of the larger charges stick to account for the fact he had harmed both of his children.

“One child was physically abused and the other was a malnutrition situation,” Werner said. “According to the affidavit, it is pretty clear that one child was singled out and abused more, given the injuries.”

The physical abuse Fields enacted on his son, according to police, included an incident where he threw the 1-year-old across a room and multiple occasions where Fields had punched the child repeatedly on his head.

“No doubt the injuries were from physical abuse,” a doctor from Geisinger Medical Center in Danville told investigators in the affidavit, noting the abuse likely was from multiple incidents.

The two children have since been adopted by a family and, while they are both still in recovery, Werner said they are doing much better.

“They are absolutely in a safe, loving environment. We couldn’t ask more from (the adoptive parents); they are providing excellent care.”

Fields is awaiting his sentencing, which will take place on Aug. 7, while his girlfriend, Breanna Diane Long, 21, a co-defendant of the abuse case, is awaiting trial.