By CHRISTINA CARREGA
A monster mom tried to soften her tale of setting a six-year-old daughter on fire in a voodoo ritual even as she pleaded guilty to the "barbaric" crime today — but a Queens judge would have none of it as he coaxed the truth from her and then sentenced the woman to 17 years behind bars.
Marie Lauradin, 29, pleaded guilty to assault last month for setting little Frantzcia Saintil on fire in a ritual called "Loa." But in a pre-sentencing report she changed her story, saying she was merely "rubbing [Frantzcia] down with alcohol because she was sick with fever when a nearby candle fell and set her on fire."
|Marie Lauradin (Ellis Kplan Photo)|
"I’m giving you another opportunity to tell the truth," Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter quickly scolded as Lauradin began to tell another lie.
"Did you douse your child with accelerant and light her on fire?" the judge said as he began to quiz Lauradin about what happened to the little girl.
"Yes," she said through an interpreter.
"The only demonic presence this child had to worry about was her mother," the judge said, lashing into her.
Lauradin originally told police that she was cooking rice on the stove inside her Queens Village home on Feb. 4, 2009, and when she was moving the pot to a back burner as Frantzcia approached her from behind and hit her hand, causing her to spill the pot of boiling water on the child, according to prosecutors.
"This was a barbaric act not an accident," the judge said. "The victim loves her mother dearly ... she still wants to be loved by this terrible excuse of a mother."
Little Frantzcia’s horrific injuries — some of them permanent — didn’t match her mother’s story.
"She has so much anger and suffers at school from kids making fun of her," prosecutor Leigh Bishop read from an email sent from Frantzcia’s foster mother, Sunday Cruz.
Lauradin’s mother, Sylvenie Thessier, 70, stood by while 25 percent of her granddaughter’s body was covered with second- and third-degree burns — including her face.
Thessier pleaded guilty to reckless assault earlier this year and was sentenced in April to 1 to 3 years in prison.
The mother and daughter duo both face deportation to Haiti upon completion of their sentences.
Copyright 2011 NYP Holdings, Inc. Published June 6, 2011 by The New York Post
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