Exit133 is about Tacoma
Boyfriend Charged in Assault of Children
TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Stepan Perebeynos, 28, with Assault of a Child in the First Degree and Assault of a Child in the Second Degree for allegedly beating his girlfriend’s two children.
“Nothing is sadder than the abuse of children,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Our Special Assault Unit specializes in vigorous prosecution of these difficult cases.”
On May 17, 2012, Perebeynos, the defendant, called 911 to report that his girlfriend’s child was non-responsive. Fire personnel responded to a Fircrest residence and found an 18-month-old boy unconscious. He had severe bruising on his body and face and his eyes were swollen shut. The defendant told police he had been caring for the boy and a six-year-old child while their mother, his girlfriend, was undergoing medical treatment. The 18-month-old was admitted to Mary Bridge Hospital with life-threatening injuries, including an active bleeding subdural hematoma and severe bruising all over his body.
During his interview with police, the defendant was asked who lived in the apartment. The defendant reported it was just him, the children’s mother, Heather Berven, and Berven’s children, a six-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy. The defendant claimed he did not know how the child had been hurt and suggested the injuries were due to an accidental fall. Police asked the defendant about the whereabouts of Berven’s three-year-old son. The defendant claimed he saw the child’s father at a grocery store a few days earlier and gave the child to him. The police started treating the three-year-old as a missing child.
The six-year-old girl was found safe at school. She told investigators that she saw both of her brothers that morning when she woke up. While police were looking for the three-year-old, the defendant’s sister brought the missing child to Mary Bridge Hospital. She stated that her mother told her the defendant had dropped off the child earlier that day and the child had a lot of bruises. The defendant told his mother that the child had already been to the doctor and everything was fine.
The three-year-old boy was treated for a broken arm, a broken tooth and severe bruising. Two separate doctors told police they did not believe the injuries the 18-month-old sustained could have been caused accidentally.
The defendant will be arraigned this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 270 in the County City Building in Tacoma. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.