Man arrested for abusing autistic stepson

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RIVERTON -- A Utah man is accused of abusing his autistic stepson. The 12-year-old boy is confined to a wheelchair and also suffers from muscular dystrophy.

According to jail documents, 42-year-old Steven Kimball admitted to putting duct tape over his stepson's mouth because he wouldn't stop chattering during his stay at his biological mother and stepfather's house in Riverton. When Kimball pulled the duct tape off, skin from the boy's face and neck came with it.

"He had some obvious wounds on his face which appeared to be some sort of pulling off of the skin, and some wounds to the back of his neck," said Salt Lake County sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.

The boy's biological father noticed the injuries when he picked him up. He alerted authorities, who arrested Kimball.

According to the probable cause statement, Kimball admitted "he wanted it to hurt" when he pulled the duct tape off. When he noticed tape residue on the boy's face he "used a rag to briskly rub at the residue to remove it," stating "he wanted the rub to be uncomfortable."

Deputies aren't aware of any prior child abuse and think this was an isolated incident. But the investigation is not over. Deputies think the biological mother and other family members might have been involved as well.


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Courtney Orton


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