Cornelius Shaw was livid.
The 42-year-old Burnsville man had gone to his stepdaughter's bedroom late last month to wake her for school. But instead of finding just one bleary-eyed teenager in bed, he found two: Her boyfriend had sneaked into the house in the middle of the night.
There was a fight, and the boyfriend took off, but Shaw wasn't finished. He picked up a fireplace poker and turned on his stepdaughter, beating her so badly she had to skip school and get medical help.
The man now charged with malicious punishment of a child told the cops he knew what he did was wrong, but if he catches her like that again, he'll "probably beat her *ss again."[jump]
The boyfriend, "L.D.F." in the criminal complaint, ended up at the hospital, where staff called the police when he described the beating, and also told of hearing the girl yell "you can't hit me like that" at her stepfather. So the cops paid Shaw a visit, but he and his stepdaughter denied there being any problem. [DOWNLOAD COMPLAINT]
The next day, May 27, was different. Alerted by social services, officers visited the girl at school. They saw her bruises, and she told them the same basic story as her boyfriend, but added that, once he left, her stepfather had come at her with the fireplace poker. So the cops got a search warrant, went to Shaw's home, and started looking around. That's when he came home -- and was taken into custody:
Dakota County Sheriff James Backstrom told the PiPress he's not charging the teenage boy with any crime, since the girl was 18, and he didn't break into the house.
"I certainly don't condone underage children sleeping together, but regardless of the circumstances involved, it's not appropriate to strike a child with any item," Backstrom told the paper.
Shaw is due in court on June 20.