A frustrated Oregon baby sitter allegedly burned his friend's crying 10-month-old son with a lighter.
Sean Anthony Middleton, 21, was charged with four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and four counts of third-degree assault, with bail for each charge set at $5,000, and one count of harassment, with bail set at $1,500, reports People.
He was booked into the Multnomah County jail on Oct. 19.
The baby's mother says she asked Middleton to baby-sit her son on Oct. 13 after knowing him for about three months.
Middleton texted the mother on Oct. 14 claiming her son was scratched by a cat, before sending out another message alleging the child bumped his head on a skateboard.
When the mom stopped by to check on her son, she found no injuries and so continued to leave the baby in his care. She left the child with Middleton for two days.
On Oct. 15, the mother picked up her son. When she changed his diaper, she noticed burns and bruises and took him to the hospital, where the authorities were brought in.
Doctors say the child likely hadn't been fed in days while in the baby sitter's care.
In addition, the child was bruised on his forehead, cheeks, chin, abdomen, genitals and back, and had scratches on his face. His back and hair were also burned.
The baby also tested positive for THC, the active chemical in marijuana.
Middleton later confessed he grabbed the child by his chest because he was frustrated by the baby's cries. He also allegedly admitted to burning the boy, saying he did so for no reason and that he "entertains his thoughts."
News of the abuse outraged many online. Some expressed anger at both Middleton and the mother.
"What kind of mother leaves her 10 month old son for two days with a 21 year old man she's only known for a few months?" wrote one person in OregonLive's comments section. "This poor little kid will be lucky to survive with a mother like that."
"Lock the idiot dude up forever but send this lady to a class somewhere and make sure she passes the test before she leaves the classroom," added another.
Some thought such comments were unfair.
"Interesting you chose to blame the mother first and not the abuser.....pretty sure she knows she screwed up," wrote another. "Clearly there are issues, but I find it interesting where your outrage lies."
A few stood their ground.
"You can't avoid the fact that had she chosen someone else, chances are this wouldn't have happened," shot back another. "It's like when a woman gets sloppy drunk and raped by an acquaintance. It's not her fault she got raped. However, had she made some better choices, it might not have happened. It's a subtle difference, but huge."