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Cleveland mom accused of burning child in bath, refusing to take her to hospital

August 9, 2018

Cleveland mom accused of burning child in bath, refusing to take her to hospital

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland mother is accused of burning her 3-year-old daughter and the girl’s father is accused of failing to get the girl treatment for two days. 

Mercedes Stergis, 26, and Javante Sears, 25, are both charged with third-degree felony child endangering.

Both are being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on $10,000 bond after their first court appearance on Thursday.

Stergis burned the girl in scalding hot bath water and lied to police and doctors about what happened, according to police.

Sears brought the girl to University Hospitals about 1 a.m. Aug. 1. He gave the hospital a fake name for the girl because they didn’t have health insurance, police reports say.

Sears told a social worker a fake story about how a 17-year-old family member was taking care of the baby and burned her while giving her a bath, police reports say.

Hospital staff told police that the burns were inconsistent with Sears’ story. Sears told police he wanted to wait until the girl’s mother arrived at the hospital before giving a statement.

Stergis arrived and told police that she and Sears got home from a trip to Florida on July 31 and gave the girl a bath. She said she left the girl alone in the bathtub in order to talk to a friend on the phone, police reports say.

She said she heard her daughter whimpering and found her with red marks on her ankles, according to police.

Stergis said she asked her daughter if she wanted to go to the hospital and the girl said no, according to police reports.

The couple waited two days before deciding they should get her treatment for the burns, according to police. 

Cuyahoga County Children Services socials workers set up temporary custody for the girl and her 5-year-old sister, according to police reports.

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