MIAMI – An Ottawa County man accused of spraying his girlfriend’s two-year-old boy with hot scalding water leaving second and third degree burns over half the child’s body was charged with child abuse, court officials said Friday.

John D. Cellner, 24, of Wyandotte, is charged in Ottawa County District Court in Miami with child abuse.  Also charged is Clarissa Pierce, 22, the child’s mother, who is facing one count of child neglect.

Cellner and Pierce remain in the Ottawa County jail on $250,000 and $150,000 bail respectively.

The child was taken into a Ottawa County medical clinic on July 2 where Cellner told medical personnel he was working on a vehicle and had removed the radiator cap causing hot water to spew from the radiator and burn the child, said Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow.

Authorities think Cellner sprayed the child with hot water in the bathroom of the residence up to 15 minutes, the sheriff said. Cellner told authorities he did not know he was spraying the child with scalding hot water for several minutes until some of the water got on his hand, Durborow said.

The child was transferred to a Tulsa hospital burn where the child underwent skin grafts, he said.  

Pierce was charged because the burns occurred on June 27 and she didn’t seek professional medical attention until July 2, Durborow said.

According to an arrest affidavit filed by Detective Dan Christophel, Pierce question Cellner whether they should seek medical treatment but was advised not to by Cellner because that would lead to involvement by the Department of Human Services.   

Pierce told authorities she did not seek medical treatment for her son because the injuries did not look that bad and the child did not complain of pain until the night before he was taken to the medical clinic, the affidavit states.

The toddler has been released from the hospital and is currently is in the custody of the Department of Human Services.