HASTINGS, Minn. - A 22-year-old Hastings man is charged with brutally assaulting a baby girl he was babysitting.
Steven Edward Dale Wiltermuth is charged with first degree assault in the alleged beating of the 11-month-old.
Hastings police responded to a report of child abuse on March 16. The mother of the baby girl told officers that Wiltermuth had volunteered to watch the child overnight the night before so she could enjoy a night out.
The woman told investigators that Wiltermuth texted her a number of times through the evening telling her the baby had fallen off the bed, and that his own daughter had struck the child in the head with a remote.
When Wiltermuth brought the baby back at approximately 3 a.m. the baby's mother says she was covered in bruises, scratches and blisters consistent with burns. She called police and met officers at a local hospital to document the injuries.
The responding officer noted the injuries, and a doctor at the local hospital recommended that the child be sent to United Children's Hospital for an exam by the Midwest Children's Resource Center.
Doctors there found the baby had a broken arm, blood and fluid on her brain, too much bruising over her body to even count the injuries.
When questioned by police Wiltermuth blamed the attack on his own child, who is under two years of age. He denied using drugs when asked.
The defendant's sister, who was home the night of the assault, told investigators a different story. She described hearing "blood curdling crying", and recalled smelling burning marijuana the night the baby stayed in the room with Wiltermuth.
A search warrant served on the defendant's home turned up a number of pipes, a bong, and other items that may have been used to assault the child.
If found guilty Steven Wiltermuth could serve up to 20 years in prison.
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