A 24-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly dousing his three-year-old stepson with boiling water, police said Tuesday. The arrest came after police discovered evidence of what they believe was sustained abuse.
The man and his 28-year-old wife came to the attention of authorities in May of last year when the boy was briefly taken into care after being beaten on his head and body, according to a TV Asahi report. On Oct 29, after having been returned to his family, police say the then two-year-old boy was doused with boiling water, which left him scalded for a month and a half. In November, he sustained new burn injuries to his hands, following which he was taken to hospital.
Hospital staff noticed the scalding on his back and alerted the authorities. The child consultation center interviewed the boy's parents about the source of his injuries and became suspicious. They alerted police in July.
During questioning about the burns on the boy's hands, the man said he made the boy hold a heated bowl. Of the burns on the boy's back, he said he turned the shower up to its hottest setting and sprayed the child because he wouldn't behave.
Although the couple in question have three children, the eldest son, who has been the focus of the abuse, is one of two children fathered by his mother's former husband. It is believed that the boy's older sister, aged 9, by his mother's former marriage, and one-year-old brother, fathered by the accused, have escaped abuse. The boy has now been adopted by one of his mother's relatives.© Japan Today