Court issues probation, community service in child abuse casePublished 8:11am Saturday, December 1, 2012
An Austin man who pleaded guilty to harming a 2-year-old boy last spring will serve probation and community service.
Benjamin Isaiah Waidler Stayton, 23, was convicted of felony malicious punishment of a child Friday in Mower County Court. He must serve five years’ supervised probation and 80 hours of community service. He must also pay $576 and $525 in restitution to two people in this case.
According to a court complaint, the 2-year-old’s grandmother found bruising inside the victim’s ear while bathing him Jan. 1. After Stayton and the boy’s mother took the child to Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, doctors found bruising on the tops of the victim’s ears and bumps on the front and back of his head.
Hospital staff called police at about 10 p.m. Jan. 1. The boy’s mom told police she had no idea her child was injured and had last inspected his ears when she gave him a bath Dec. 30, according to the police report.
Stayton and the mother told police Stayton watched the victim from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, as the two were to spend New Year’s Eve together with the victim and Stayton’s 6-year-old daughter. The mother reportedly went to a liquor store with another friend.
While she was gone, Stayton said he had played with the 2-year-old and put the victim to bed in his crib, where Stayton found him crying about 10 minutes later. The mother said she found Stayton holding the screaming child over his crib when she got home.
Days later, Stayton reportedly remembered he had been chasing the 2-year-old around a kitchen table when he tripped on a book or blanket and fell onto the child, who fell and hit his head on a wall, allegedly causing the bump on the back of his head, according to the complaint.