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Published: Tuesday, 4/21/2009

Toledoan is convicted in death of his girlfriend's daughter, 3

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Troy Semenovich, 26, with his attorney Matt Fech, raises his right hand to swear to tell the truth as he enters his plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in the beating of Kaycie Bork, 3. Kaycie Bork Troy Semenovich, 26, with his attorney Matt Fech, raises his right hand to swear to tell the truth as he enters his plea in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in the beating of Kaycie Bork, 3. Kaycie Bork
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Kaycie Bork weighed only 28 pounds and was 35 inches tall.

Yet the injuries inflicted upon her 3-year-old body by her mother's former live-in boyfriend were the result of what was doctors and prosecutors described as a "massive assault."

Troy Semenovich, 26, of 907 Homer Ave., pleaded no contest in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday to a charge of murder. He faces life in prison with the eligibility of parole after 15 years when sentenced next week.

"The evidence was that she died as a result of a massive assault and that the injuries are not consistent with a person being pushed into a stove, as he said," Assistant County Prosecutor Jeff Lingo said. "This all from a man who was 6-foot, 2 inches and about 250 pounds."

Mr. Lingo said Kaycie had bruising on most of her body, even between her fingers. He said she died of blunt-force injuries to the head and had damage to the nerves in her eyes found only in shaken-baby cases and in the impacts of high-speed crashes.

Mr. Lingo told Judge Denise Ann Dartt during the plea Semenovich had displayed a pattern of abuse against the toddler that culminated when he took her to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center on Oct. 20, saying she had fallen in the care of a baby sitter. He later told authorities he'd "pushed and shoved" the young girl into a stove, Mr. Lingo said.

Kaycie Bork Kaycie Bork
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Kaycie died Oct. 24 at the hospital.

The child's mother, Mallissa Lusk, 27, also of the Homer address, admitted last week her role in the events leading to the young girl's death. She pleaded guilty Thursday to one count each of involuntary manslaughter and endangering children.

Because the charges are related to the same incident, the sentences will be merged. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

Lusk admitted last week in court that she knew Semenovich was responsible for abuse inflicted on her children, including times when he restrained the young girl beneath a faucet while water poured onto her face.

She also acknowledged that she did not question the numerous bruises on her daughter's body and instead "trusted the excuses that were given."

The prosecutor's office will recommend up to five years in prison for Lusk when she is sentenced May 18. Judge Dartt referred Lusk to the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center for evaluation.

As part of the plea agreement with Semenovich, the original charge of aggravated murder was reduced. Both charges carry life sentences.

Attorney Matt Fech said after the hearing the case "wasn't an intentional death." He declined to comment further.

Lusk's other children, including a son of whom Semenovich is the father, are in the custody of relatives.

Several family members appeared in the courtroom and left quickly afterward.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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