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National Guardsman faces severe child abuse charges in Lewis County

A member of the Washington Army National Guard is facing accusations of severe child abuse in Lewis County Superior Court.

Steven Grant Williams, 39, was in between deployments and staying with his girlfriend, Sarra L. Dennis, 27, of Chehalis, whose 7-year-old son was staying with the couple on a two-week visit from the North Bend home of his grandparents, where he normally lives.

When the boy returned to North Bend from the Chehalis home in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, his grandparents discovered he had sustained bruises all over his body, including two black eyes, according to court documents.

Williams told police he spanked the boy several times because he would "spaz out" during his bath time.

"The (probable cause) statement details the injuries," said Prosecutor Colin Hayes. "But the photographs paint a different picture."

Hayes said the boy was found with the phrase, "stop staring," written in black pen ink on one side of his buttocks.

As of Friday evening, Williams was being held on $25,000 bail at the Lewis County Jail, and his attorney attempted to lower the amount because he said he was due for work at a National Guard recruitment office in Kent.

Chehalis Deputy Chief Randy Kaut told The Chronicle on Friday the case is one of the worst cases of abuse he has seen in a long time.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Chronicle, Centralia, Wash.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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