BISMARCK — A former Bismarck day care provider convicted of child abuse for grabbing a 3-year-old’s ears was sentenced Monday, June 10, to 1 1/2 years in prison.

Marlene Steedsman, 56, also must spend three years on probation and register as an offender against children, according to court documents.

A witness testified at Steedsman’s trial in January that one of the boy’s ears was red and swollen and bruises were forming when he was picked up from her in-home day care. The boy told the witness Steedsman had tried to “break ears off” because he wet his pants.

The conviction is Steedsman’s second related to the injury of a child in her care. In 2017, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false information to law enforcement. In that case, she admitted to not telling police or the child's parents that a 5-month-old had fallen from a swing while being pushed by another child in her care. Steedsman instead told police the child had a minor scratch on her head before later admitting the full incident.

The injured child was airlifted to a Minneapolis hospital with blood hemorrhages around her brain, retinal hemorrhages in her left eye and a skull fracture that was discovered later.

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Steedsman said she lied because she was scared and wanted to protect the other child involved. She was still on unsupervised probation for that incident when the case involving the 3-year-old was charged.