BLACKMAN TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A 24-year-old man has been charged with torture and first-degree child abuse after two children he was caring for were found with severe hot water burns.
A Jackson County judge denied bond during Friday’s arraignment for Daniel Ronquillo. The torture charges carry a possibility of life in prison.
Investigators believe 2-year-old Corey Austin Jr. and his sister, 1-year-old Bella Austin, were held Wednesday in scalding water. They suffered first- and second-degree burns to the lower parts of their bodies.
Ronquillo, who was home alone at the time, initially told police that he left the two children in the bath tub and they turned up the water temperature, according to a report by MLive.com.
Ronquillo, a registered sex offender, is boyfriend to the children’s mother and lives at the home in Blackman Township.
The children’s mother told WLNS-TV on Thursday that she believes the injuries were accidental, but prosecutors say medical testimony will show that the injuries could not have been accidental.
The children are at the University of Michigan Medical Center in critical but stable condition. Doctors say the children will require skin grafts and several months of healing.
The Associated Press left a message Friday evening seeking comment from Ronquillo’s attorney. A preliminary examination is set for June 13.
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