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Bismarck day care provider found guilty of child abuse

BISMARCK — Jurors found a former Bismarck day care provider guilty of child abuse Thursday, Jan. 10.

Marlene Steedsman, 55, was on trial on Wednesday in South Central District Court for felony child abuse after allegedly grabbing a 3-year-old boy in her care by the ears.

Lisa Schauer testified things seemed mostly normal when she picked the boy up from Steedsman’s in-home day care on the day of the incident. But while they were in the checkout line at Kmart, she noticed his ear was red, swollen, had lacerations and bruises were forming. Upon asking him what happened, the boy allegedly told her that Steedsman had tried to “break ears off” for having peed his pants.

District Judge David Reich ordered a pre-sentence investigation in the case. Steedsman will be sentenced at a later date.

This is Steedsman’s second conviction related to injury of a child in her care. In 2017, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false information to law enforcement.

In that case, Steedsman admitted to not telling police or the child’s parents that the nearly 5-month-old had fallen from a swing while being pushed by another child in her care. Steedsman had, instead, told police the child had a minor scratch on her head before later admitting the full incident.

The injured child was airlifted from CHI St. Alexius Medical Center to University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital with blood hemorrhages around her brain, retinal hemorrhages in her left eye and a skull fracture later discovered on her left side.

When asked why she lied to police, Steedsman said she was scared and wanted to protect the other child involved.

Steedsman was still on unsupervised probation for her previous crime when this most recent violation took place.