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Hastings man charged with assaulting 11-month-old child

A 22-year-old Hastings man, Steven Edward Dale Wiltermuth remains in the Dakota County Jail after being charged with one felony count of assault in the first degree (great bodily harm) on an 11-month-old child.

Hastings Police had been contacted March 16 by a Hastings woman who said that Wiltermuth had offered to take care of her child overnight. When the child was returned to her mother, there were injuries all over her body.

The mother said she had received several text messages from Wiltermuth indicating that her daughter had fallen off the bed a few times and that Wiltermuth's own 1-year-old daughter had hit the child with a remote control.

When the daughter returned home, she had many bruises and scratches, and several blisters consistent with burns. The woman went to Regina Medical Center with her daughter and met police. The child was transferred to United Children's Hospital in St. Paul for examination by Midwest Children's Resource Center.

Further examination of the child indicated a fractured bone, some fluid on the brain, many bruises and blisters. The doctor said that the "injuries could not be explained by the action of the other child of around 2-years of age who was present who was present with the 11-month-old on the night of the injuries."

When Wiltermuth was interviewed by police, he claimed that his child "caused all the injuries."

A relative was apparently in the house the day of the incident. In an interview with police the relative recalled smelling the odor of burning marijuana during the night.

Wiltermuth denied smoking marijuana.

The relative also recalled "blood-curdling" crying, according to the complaint.

A search warrant was prepared and executed at Wiltermuth's residence. Officers discovered marijuana pipes, a bong and other paraphernalia.

Wiltermuth was arrested March 19. He made his first court appearance March 21. His next scheduled court date is set for Monday, April 15.