2007_8_prison.jpg This is a harrowing crime that makes us question humanity. Twenty-one-year-old Joseph Wallace of Staten Island was charged with first-degree manslaughter, second-degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child in the May 21 death of his 2-month old son, Joseph Jr. Warning: Extremely disturbing details ahead.

Authorities had been investigating the baby's death for the past few months, and an autopsy revealed that there were lacerations in the baby's rectum. The NY Times reports that when "Confronted with the autopsy results, the man, Joseph Wallace, told detectives that he had used his fingers to sodomize the boy, thinking it would stop him from crying." Wallace wrote in a statement, "I don't understand what made me do this. But he then went back to sleep."

The Staten Island Advance reports that the baby's mother, Alyse Connors, an 18-year-old who works as a toll collector, had returned home five hours later, finding the baby "naked and unresponsive, lying on the bed in between the legs of his passed-out father." The couple, who did not have a history with the Administration for Children's Services, also had a 1-year-old daughter, who was taken out of their custody after Joseph Jr's death.

However, Wallace denied that he beat the child; an autopsy showed signs of blunt force trauma, which is the official cause of death. During his arraignment, the Advance said a man "cried and cursed" when the allegations were described by prosecutor.

Earlier this week, a Staten Island 17-month-old toddler was taken off of life support after suffering critical injuries from beatings administered by her mother and her mother's boyfriend. SI District Attorney Daniel Donovan said, "To be handling this as Hailey Gonzalez is laid to rest is just tragic. Two young lives, just babies, were needlessly destroyed by those entrusted to care for them,. I would take this opportunity to ask our community, if you suspect child abuse -- report it. A simple phone call can save a child's life."