An East Greenville man has been arrested and charged with severely beating a 4-year-old autistic boy and pulling out three of his teeth while babysitting the child in July.

Nicholas Kernechel, 27, was charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child, among other charges, Montgomery County officials announced Monday.

According to prosecutors, the incident occurred the night of July 18, when the 4-year-old was in the sole care of Kernechel, his girlfriend's son, while she was out.

After returning to their Montgomery County home early July 19, the woman said, she found her son around 9 a.m. asleep on the floor of his bedroom, his face beaten, his lips swollen, and three teeth missing from his mouth.

When questioned, Kernechel initially told the woman that her son must have fallen from his bed. Kernechel later told police that the boy slipped through his arms and fell onto a nightstand as he picked up the boy to carry him from his bed to the bathroom.

Investigators who responded to the scene found dried blood on the boy's pillow, shirt, wall, and floor.

When interviewed by investigators, the 4-year-old boy told officials that Kernechel "hit and take them [his teeth] out," before adding that Kernechel was not nice.

A medical examination at Lehigh Valley Medical Center confirmed that the boy's "teeth were pulled out," according to the criminal complaint for the case.

"Kernechel left [the boy] in his bed, bleeding and crying, and failed to tell his mother about his injuries," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement.

Kernechel's attorney, Patrick J. McMenamin Jr., on Monday called the incident "unfortunate."

"He is charged as a result of an accident," McMenamin said. "The allegations that my client did something intentional are outrageous."

According to prosecutors, the investigation also revealed other injuries the boy had received dating to April, including bite marks and bruises on his arms and face. When questioned, detectives said the boy reenacted being hit in the head when describing his injuries.

Kernechel was arraigned Sept. 17 on three felony assault charges, among others, and remains in the Montgomery County prison on $100,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

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