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Stevens charged after child sustains burns

Matthew B. Stevens of Helena has been charged with severely injuring a child.

Stevens, 23 years old, was seen via video in Justice Court in Helena on Monday, charged with felony aggravated assault.

The case began last Wednesday when a one-year old child was brought to Saint Peter’s Hospital near midnight with burns to the lower half of his body, including his stomach, back and legs, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say the burns were so bad portions of the child’s skin were sloughing off his body.

Due to the severity of the burns, the child was flown to a burn unit at Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Court documents state that the child’s mother told investigators Stevens had taken a shower with the victim in order to cool the child down, who appeared to be suffering from a fever.

Stevens told investigators he was showering with the victim when he popped a boil on the victim’s lower back.

He says that’s when the child’s skin began to peel off.

The victim’s mother told investigators the shower water at the time felt lukewarm.

Doctors in Salt Lake told investigators the burn pattern on the child is consistent with a submersion burn, calling it an “inflicted” injury.

The doctors pointed out the burn patterns are not consistent with Steven’s version of events.

The victim and his brother were also found with bruising to their faces, consistent with an open-handed slap or strike to the face.

Bond for Stevens was set at $50,000.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in August.

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