A 33-year-old homeless man is facing a charge of malicious punishment of a child, after a Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office investigation that began last summer.

Deputies say Paul Bruce was the boyfriend of the child’s mother, and the victim is a developmentally delayed, special-needs child.

The criminal complaint states that Bruce grabbed the child’s thigh spanked his buttocks, leaving visible bruises, and that he forced the victim to the ground for misbehaving. He admitted to the claims and added that he’d been angry for several days prior to the incident and that he’d been drinking when it occurred. The child’s mother told investigators that Bruce was angry at the child for soiling his pants due to medical issues.

Bruce also told deputies that he has a prior Criminal Sexual Conduct conviction from Texas, has been living in Fairmont with the victim’s mother for around six months at the time of the incident

Police add that the child was removed from the home.