On the afternoon of Wednesday, February 20, the Storm Lake Police Department working in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Human Services initiated an investigation into a possible child abuse incident.
Police Investigators and DHS personnel responded to the Storm Lake Middle School where they investigated the circumstances surrounding a 14-year-old male having injuries to several areas of his body in the form of red welts from a beating.
Based on an investigation conducted, Police determined that the stepfather of the 14-year-old had struck him 20 times with a leather belt, which had been soaked in water. The incident occurred on the evening of February 19. Further, Investigators determined that another 11-year-old male in the home had been "spanked" a total of 10 times in one day.
Storm Lake Police located and arrested the stepfather identified as Romel Alfero, 29, of Storm Lake. He was charged with two counts of Child Endangerment (aggravated misdemeanor) and booked into the Buena Vista County Jail on $13,000 cash bond.
The children were placed in the custody of their mother. The Department of Human Services is continuing their investigation.