Man charged with beating, threatening to kill 3 children while babysitting them

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 3:16 PM EST
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - A man has been charged in Marion County after authorities say he beat and threatened to kill three children while babysitting them.

Investigators responded to United Hospital Center in Bridgeport on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in reference to three children, ages three, four and six, that had been beaten and transported to UHC, according to a criminal complaint.

Once on the scene, investigators say hospital staff told them the children had suffered a hematoma on their heads and faces and pressure wounds on their buttocks that indicated they were forced to be in a certain position for a “unnecessary period of time.”

Additionally, investigators say the three-year-old “had been struck severely in the head resulting in the white of his eyes to pool blood.”

Authorities say “it was apparent that the children had been severely beaten/abused based upon the multitude of bruises on their faces, arms, backs, legs, and chests.”

Court documents say two of the children told medical staff that 50-year-old Michael Stemple caused their injuries.

Police say they spoke to the children’s mother who said Stemple had been babysitting them while she was at work, adding that “she had found out [Stemple] was hitting the children approximately two weeks prior to this complaint, and had spoken with [Stemple] about hitting the children.”

When the children’s mother saw they had been beaten on Sunday, Nov. 5, Stemple reportedly threatened her by saying he would kill the children and her if she called the police, according to the criminal complaint.

Stemple has been charged with three counts of child abuse resulting in injury. He is being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $150,012 bond.