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Man accused of intentionally scalding girlfriend's infant while babysitting

SALEM — A 23-year-old Pembroke, Mass. man is accused of intentionally scalding his girlfriend's 18-month-old child on Friday evening.

Shawn Ward was taken into custody on warrants on Saturday following a brief investigation into the abuse of the infant, according to Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten. Ward is being held on $15,000 cash bail pending arraignment in Salem District Court on charges of second-degree assault with bodily injury to a person under 13 and endangering the welfare of a child.

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, the police department was notified by Lawrence (Mass.) General Hospital that an infant with serious burns on the face, head, upper torso and arms had been taken there by the Salem Fire Department.

"The injuries were consistent with a high temperature liquid being poured on an infant," said Patten. "The infant was immediately transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston. The infant remains hospitalized."

After being notified by the hospital, Salem detectives began an investigation and determined that the mother's current boyfriend (not the biological father) had been baby-sitting the infant on Friday, according to Patten.

"Police have evidence of and believe the injuries caused to the baby were intentional and done by scalding hot water," stated Patten. "There was also a significant delay in seeking medical treatment."

Ward was taken into custody without incident, according to Patten.

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