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An Ellwood City man is wanted by police in connection with suspected abuse of a 5-year-old boy.

Ellwood City filed charges Tuesday against Charles Ray Murray, 40, of 1066 Woodside Ave., after the police and Lawrence County Children and Youth Services investigators reported seeing extensive bruising and a laceration on the child’s hind end, according to a criminal complaint.

Murray was living with the boy and two other children as the boyfriend of their mother, according to the court papers.

The child admitted to a family member that Murray would beat him with a belt, make him brush his teeth with dish soap and wash his mouth with bars of soap, the complaint states.

The police, after receiving an initial report about the suspected abuse, conducted a forensic interview of the child and learned from one of the children that Murray would make the children do exercises as a form of punishment, the complaint says, and and that he would hit their hind ends with his belt or his hands.

The sibling said that the 5-year-old would get hit the most often, according to the court papers. 

The 5-year-old told the authorities that he doesn’t feel safe when Murray is at home, and he told police that Murray beat him hard with the belt, and that is how he got his bruise, the complaint states.

Children and Youth Services obtained legal custody of the three children and they are staying with a relative. 

The police reported that Murray was to meet with them regarding the incident on June 20, but as of Monday, he had failed to contact the police or provide a statement. 

He is charged with endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault of a victim younger than 6 years old and simple assault.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Murray had been charged in 2017 four counts of endangering the welfare of children when he left the three children at home alone for more than three hours when he went out to play cards. 

He pleaded guilty to one count on April 10, 2018, and was sentenced to a year in jail.

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