Crime

Spanaway man charged in assault of 3-year-old boy

A memory card found on the side of a road in Graham held several videos of a man repeatedly abusing a small boy.

A man was arrested in connection with the incident, which allegedly happened at his Spanaway home.

A woman found the memory card last month and took it home. She turned it in to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department after watching the contents and seeing a 3-year-old boy being “tortured,” according to court documents.

Investigators identified Michael Robertson, 31, as the man in the video. They interviewed him Oct. 29 in the Pierce County Jail, where he’d been booked the day before on unrelated drug charges.

Robertson told the detective the boy belonged to a friend and he baby-sat periodically.

When asked why he hit the boy, Robertson said, “I dunno, because he was bad,” records state.

The videos allegedly showed Robertson hitting the boy in the face and genitals and forcing him to inhale smoke from a bong until he coughed.

Detectives tracked down the boy’s mother to a county drug treatment center, where she’d been sent after recently giving birth to another child and testing positive for drugs.

Child Protective Services took custody of the woman’s younger child and took Robertson’s young daughter. The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office said the 3-year-old boy is being cared for by relatives.

The woman has previous drug cases and CPS complaints for letting the boy wander unattended, according to court records.

Robertson pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree assault of a child. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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