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Charges: Man Abused Child, 2, Over Toileting Accident

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 23-year-old man is accused of abusing a 2-year-old child with scorching hot water in a bath tub after a toilet training accident last week in West St. Paul, according to charges filed Monday in Dakota County Court.

Hardel Harrison Sherrell was charged two counts of malicious punishment of a child in connection with the Jan. 24 incident.

According to the charges, West St. Paul Police and a social worker in Dakota County were called to a hospital on Jan. 27 on a report of possible child abuse. An investigation showed that Sherrell, who lived with his girlfriend of four months, cares for her 2-year-old child while she is at work.

On Jan. 24, he called her to tell her that he had put the child in a bath tub after a toileting accident and that the water had turned scorching hot. He said he briefly left the room while the child was in the tub, and the child had sustained severe burns and blistering from the hot water, the complaint states.

Sherrell told police he had been playing a video game when he realized the child had been in the bathroom for a long time. When he went to check on the child, he noticed that the child had had an accident. He then putt the child in the bath tub with running water and didn't realize anything was wrong until noticing the child in discomfort, the complaint states. Sherrell also said he got upset with the child over the toileting accident.

The child suffered burns on his lower back, buttocks, the back of his upper thighs and his fingers due to the hot water. The child also showed facial and neck injuries that were likely a result of being hit in the face with an object or open hand, according to the complaint.

Sherell was previously convicted of felony domestic assault in February 2013. If convicted on the current charges, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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