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Couple Faces 126 Counts of Child Abuse in West Virginia; Arrested along with Mother of Abused Children who Knew Her Children were Being Abused

Couple Faces 126 Counts of Child Abuse in West Virginia; Arrested along with Mother of Abused Children who Knew Her Children were Being Abused

Three individuals face charges in connection with a child abuse investigation that occurred in Marion and Harrison counties in November.

Michael Stemple, 50, and Linda Stemple, 45, of Fairmont, along with Chrystal Ridenour, 27, of Clarksburg, have been indicted on child abuse charges as a result of the investigation.

Three young children, aged 3, 4, and 6, were taken to United Hospital Center after suffering physical abuse at the hands of the couple who were responsible for their care, according to authorities. Ridenour, the mother of the children, is alleged to have knowledge of the abuse.

According to investigators, the 3-year-old child had sustained a severe head injury, causing blood to pool in the whites of their eyes.

The children also had numerous bruises on various parts of their bodies. Hospital staff noted that the children had hematoma on their heads and faces, as well as pressure wounds on their buttocks, suggesting that they were subjected to prolonged and unnecessary discomfort.

Michael, Linda, and Ridenour face multiple indictments for child abuse and neglect resulting in bodily injury.

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