MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) – The father of a 22-month-old girl was being held on $1 million bond Friday night on allegations he deliberately burned the girl in scalding water. Jharel Copening, 20, of Manchester, faces charges of first-degree assault, cruelty to persons, risk of injury to a minor and making a false statement. He was arrested Thursday.

Police said the toddler’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Police said the girl suffered second-degree burns on her feet and ankles and first-degree burns from her chest to her calves.

Staff members at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, where the girl was brought Thursday, believe the burns are similar to ones resulting from being immersed in scalding water.

A police report says there were clear lines on the girl’s legs between where she was burned on her feet and ankles and where she was not.

Police said Copening told them the girl had been sitting near the stove on the floor when a pot of boiling water fell off.

Copening was arraigned Friday in Manchester Superior Court, where his lawyer repeated Copening’s claim that the incident was an accident.


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