Sheila Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun

MIAMI — An Ottawa County man accused of spraying scalding water on a 2-year-old boy pleaded no contest to child abuse, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

John D. Cellner II, 26, of Wyandotte, entered the plea in Ottawa County District Court in Miami on Friday.

Formal sentencing is set for Dec. 27.

The June 27, 2008, incident left second- and third-degree burns over half the child’s body.

Cellner has maintained since his arrest the incident was an accident, said Ben Loring, assistant district attorney.

He told authorities he did not know he was spraying the child with hot water for several minutes until some of the water got on his hand, according to an arrest affidavit.

The child’s mother, Clarissa Pierce, 25, also was charged with child neglect, which was dropped in October 2008, court records show.

The child underwent skin grafts but has recovered and is doing well, Loring said.