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Man and fiancee cover up abuse of her son

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Jun 10 2013 02:55:19 PM CDT

NAZARETH, Pa. -

A man admitted to physically abusing his fiancee's young son in late April and late May, and the boy's mother lied to doctors about how the 4-year-old was injured on one of those occasions, officials said.

John H. Lam slapped the 4-year-old during an argument on April 29 and shoved the boy into a wall for misbehaving on May 23 in a home along Easton Road in Nazareth.

Both times the boy had to be taken to the hospital -- on April 29 because of bruising and swelling of his left eye and on May 23 for stitches because of injuries to his face and back of his head.

On May 23, the boy's mother, Amy L. Mertus, told doctors that her son was injured because he fell off a bicycle.

Last Friday, Lam admitted to police that Mertus had lied to doctors and he was responsible for the boy's injuries, officials said.

Lam, 31, of 1504 Ferry St., Wilson, Northampton County, was arraigned Friday night on charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $25,000 bail, according to court documents.

Mertus, 31, was arraigned Friday night on two counts of reckless endangerment and released on $25,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing for both Lam and Mertus is set for 9:30 a.m. June 14.