(BEDFORD) - A Bedford man entered a plea of not guilty to child molesting and other charges.
20-year-old Jacob Steber also entered pleas of not guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury; battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age.
The initial hearing was held by video conference in Lawrence Superior Court, with Circuit Court Judge Andrea McCord presiding.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a woman went to the Bedford Police Department to report that her 22-month-old son had multiple bruises and bite marks on him.
The woman says she and the child had stayed with Steber, her ex-boyfriend, during the weekend of February 14.
She told police that she had left the child with Steber on three different occasions during that weekend, but never for more than 10 minutes at a time.
The first time was while she was taking a shower on the morning of February 15. The woman says when she got out of the shower the baby was crying. Steber told her the child had dropped some toys on his foot.
The second time the woman says all three of them had gone to the library and that Steber took the child upstairs to the children's section. When she joined them upstairs, the baby was crying.
On the third occasion, the woman says she was making a couple of trips to the car to get groceries and when she returned inside, she heard the child yell and he was whimpering.
Then on Sunday morning while the woman was giving the child a bath she noticed the bruises and what looked like a bite mark.
The mother then took the child to the police department, and after meeting with police, took the child to the emergency room.
A doctor recommended the child be taken to Riley Hospital for Children. A Riley doctor reported the child presented with "concerning bruises all over his body, including his ears, cheeks, forehead, buttocks, scrotum and feet. The doctor reported the bruises were not subtle and were "inflicted injury."
Police contacted Steber, showing him photographs of the baby's injuries, and he told police he had caused the injuries.
Steber told police the bite marks were from a game "dog dog" that he plays. Steber told police, at the child first laughed during the biting, but later said he knew the bites were causing pain to the baby. He also told police one of the bites caused the baby to "scream or squeal due to the amount of pain caused by the bite."
Steber remains in jail. His bond is set at $5,005 cash or $50,000 surety. Steber is scheduled to appear again in court for a pretrial conference on March 24 in Lawrence Superior Court I.
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