Three young Sioux Falls children will remember this past Christmas for a long time, but for all the wrong reasons.
Police say the kids, ages eight, nine and ten, were severely beaten with a belt on Christmas Eve by their uncle. Their injuries were so severe, they had to be taken to the hospital to be treated.
Police say their uncle was staying with them at the time.
"The children had injuries, some bruising, some lacerations. When we deal with kids, they'll be going in for follow up interviews," Lt Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police department said.
The children were taken to the hospital to be treated for what police say were non-life threatening injuries.
On Christmas Eve shortly after 11 p.m., a neighbor called police saying she heard sounds of someone beating children. When police arrived they found 50-year-old Marvin Antonio White mopping up blood in the apartment. Police say when he was taken into custody he had alcohol in his system.
Authorities say the mother of the three children was not home at the time.
"We did locate her, she did come up to the hospital looking at the reports. The kids were released to her," Larsen said.
Police say they're now trying to figure out what led up to the beatings, as the kids will be re-examined to look for any other signs of physical abuse.
White is charged with three counts of abuse and cruelty to minor. He made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.