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A Whiteford man is being held without bail after being charged with four counts of second-degree child abuse Friday.

Steven Kenneth Helgason, 43, of the 1500 block of Kerr Road, was charged Tuesday with four counts of second-degree child abuse, four counts of second-degree assault and four counts of reckless endangerment after an alleged incident that dates to Nov. 13.

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During the bail hearing, which was held before District Court Judge John Dunnigan, Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Lambert said that in this particular incident Helgason allegedly used an aerosol can and a lighter to burn the children's hair.

"He certainly is a danger and a risk to his family," Lambert said in her request for Dunnigan to up the $150,000 bond to $500,000.

Helgason allegedly used an Axe deodorant can and a lighter to shoot flames at his 10-year-old and 13-year-old sons, burning their hair, according to charging documents. Both boys stated in charging documents that it had happened several times and had also happened to Helgason's 6-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

He also allegedly told his older son to burn the younger children's hair, according to charging documents, which noted that the older son had allegedly burned the 11-year-old daughter's hair one night as she slept. The daughter also said in charging documents that Helgason allegedly burned the 6-year-old son's shoulder in one incident.

One of his sons, too, reported in charging documents that Helgason told him to go to his room and when he refused, Helgason allegedly hung the boy upside down while he removed his clothes and made him stay in his room naked.

At the bail review hearing, Public Defender Lynne McChrystal requested a reduction in the bail or for it to remain as set, mentioning that Helgason has his own business in the state and isn't a flight risk.

Helgason has eight children. A condition of bail, should he eventually be granted it, is that he cannot have contact with any of the children. The Department of Social Services will be involved as well, according to Lambert.

Lambert also brought up that Helgason was found guilty of second-degree assault in 2006 and child abuse in 1998.

Dunnigan ordered Helgason to be held without bail.

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