Lehigh Valley

Allentown man allegedly beat 3-year-old with belt

Police said the 21-year-old was babysitting

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - An Allentown man is facing assault charges after authorities allege he beat the 3-year-old he was babysitting with a belt.

Allentown police charged Shamell L. Ward in connection with the suspected case of child abuse that occurred last month inside a North 10th Street apartment. District Judge Karen Devine arraigned the 21-year-old Thursday night, setting bail at $100,000 with a 10 percent cash option.

Authorities received a complaint about a possible child abuse case on Jan. 19, a day after the boy was taken to the hospital for was investigators said was severe swelling of the boy’s penis.

An examination showed he had several marks and bruises on his back, chest and legs which were consistent with being hit with a belt, according to court records. A doctor said the boy also suffered a “severe injury” to his penis, according to records.

The boy’s mother told investigators that Ward, her boyfriend, was babysitting when she left for work at 10 p.m. the night before until 11 a.m. the day she discovered his injury. She told authorities she didn’t see any injuries on the boy before she left the house.

During an interview with investigators, the victim and his brother told police that Ward was the one who injured the young boy, according to records.

Police charged Ward with simple assault, child endangerment and aggravated assault of a victim younger than 6 years old. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 16.

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