A Knoxville man who pled guilty to several charges in a child neglect case was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday.

Rocky Wooldridge, 50, of Knoxville, was charged after a March report from the Iowa Department of Human Services for a child that law enforcement said was found in a Knoxville home that had suffered multiple injuries.

Authorities said the child living in Wooldridge’s home was kept in the room, which was covered in plastic.

A social worker noted a plastic bag of soaked Pull-up diapers was in the room of the child. Court filings say the child told the nurse he had last been outside the prior summer, and that he was not allowed to leave his room to go to the bathroom.

The child’s body showed signs of thermal injury to both feet and deep bruising on the arm. Rocky Wooldridge was identified as the child’s adoptive father, and it was said that the child’s mother had been gone for some time.

Wooldridge in September pled guilty to two counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, and two counts of child endangerment resulting in serious injury. Each of the four charges are class C felonies.

On Thursday, Judge Michael Jacobsen handed down the maximum sentence of 10 years for each count. Three of the counts will run consecutively, with the fourth count running concurrently, the judge wrote in his ruling. In effect, this equates to a sentence of 30 years in prison.

Wooldridge’s wife, Jennifer Wooldridge, was also charged in the incident. The case against her is awaiting sentencing, set for Dec. 5.

A plea agreement filed in October indicated Jennifer Wooldridge would plea guilty to one count of child endangerment causing bodily injury, a class D felony. The agreement states that attorneys for Jennifer Wooldridge and the state agree to a suspended prison sentence of five years, three years of probation and a $1,000. Though, the judge will hold the final decision.

Kyle Ocker is the regional editor of the Centerville Daily Iowegian, Knoxville Journal-Express, Pella Chronicle and Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com.

Kyle Ocker has been the editor of the Knoxville Journal Express since November 2016. He formerly held the titles of sports editor and associate editor at the Centerville Daily Iowegian, a sister paper to the Journal Express.

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