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Man arrested on child cruelty charges Friday
DFCS workers reported case after finding bruises on 10-year-old boy
James Willie Stidem - photo by Special
    A local man is behind bars, held without bond on a child cruelty charge, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
    After finding multiple bruises on a 10-year-old boy March 17, Department of Family and Children Services caseworkers called sheriff’s deputies and the child’s guardian ended up behind bars on child cruelty charges.
    James Willie Stidem, 50, Hagin Lane, is being held without bond pending court hearings after his arrest Friday,  he said.
    Stidem is charged with one count of cruelty to children.
    According to reports, Stidem “spanked and whipped”  the child with “a belt and a paddle” after the child arrived home with “negative reports from school.”  He also failed to feed  the family pet, prompting discipline from Stidem, who is his biological uncle and adoptive parent.
    However, the punishment was “quite a bit excessive,” Anderson said.
    The child had bruises over his legs, back, stomach and chest, he said.
    Anderson did not have details regarding how DFCS caseworkers became involved, but said they felt the bruises displayed excessive force and substantiated the cruelty charge.

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