Foster dad sentenced to prison for using Taser on kids

Posted at: 08/23/2013 10:18 AM
Updated at: 08/23/2013 1:35 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

CLOVIS, N.M. -- A Clovis foster parent will spend 16 years in prison for using a Taser to punish children.

Michael Vargas, 40, was arrested in 2010 after two foster children reported the Tasering to a social worker at school.

The children were found with at least two dozen burn marks on their stomachs and arms.

A jury found Vargas guilty on 24 counts of child abuse in June. The state argued he should have to spend at least 24 years in prison, one for each scar left on the victims. But after a lengthy sentencing hearing, a judge ordered Vargas to serve 16 years.

"It is unconscionable that anyone would ever consider using a Taser as a means of punishment," District Attorney Matthew Chandler said. "The victims in this case are relieved that all of this is over, and they can now focus on the things kids are supposed to focus on."