We now have more details into the Alpena man that could be facing up to two years in prison and or five years of probation after pleading guilty to child abuse.
Earlier this week we told you that 29–year–old Merlin Pardike will be sentenced next month after he admitted to hitting his step daughter in November 2016.
Thanks to the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office we now how more details on how the incident and the entire case started.
“The Alpena County Sheriff’s Office became involved after receiving a referral from Child Protective Services on November 2nd of 2016. Ultimately this investigation was launched when an outstanding local daycare provider made authorities aware that a 23–month–old child had significant facial injures when she was brought to her custody that day. A lengthy investigation revealed that Merlin Aaron Shane Pardike, the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, had assaulted the girl in early 2016. The investigation also revealed that the girl had also likely been assault in the summer of 2016,” Deputy Michael Jones said.
Deputy Jones said the victim was too young to speak for herself which led to more facts of the case becoming difficult.
“This case was made more difficult the fact that the child was too young to speak and tell investigators from both the sheriff’s office, and the child protective services what had occurred to her,” he added.
Deputy Jones said their biggest job is to make sure that victims get the protection they need.
“Our biggest job is to protect those who are unable to protect themselves, and in this case Mr. Pardike’s claim that he had no idea what had occurred to the girl just wasn’t believable. In the end Alpena County Prosecutor, Ed Black did a great job in securing a felony conviction for this victim,” Jones stated.
Pardike pleaded guilty in court this week to a single count of child abuse in the 3rd degree which is a lighter sentence of 2nd degree child abuse. That charge along with lying to a police officer was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.
Pardike’s sentencing is set for July 24th.