CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) - A Region 8 man is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond after police say he sexually assaulted a young child.
Gerald McCanless, 28, of Caruthersville is charged with suspicion of first-degree sodomy/attempted sodomy and felonious restraint.
According to court documents, the assault happened during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Nov. 25, at a home in Caruthersville.
McCanless was reportedly babysitting the 4-year-old girl while her mother was at work.
Another child who witnessed the assault told investigators McCanless picked the girl up out of her bed and took her into another bedroom.
The witness reportedly told detectives McCanless held the girl down on the bed while he assaulted her.
When the girl started to scream, the witness said McCanless "put his hand over her mouth and pushed down as if he was strangling her."
Officers took the girl, who was brought to the Caruthersville police station by a family member, to a health center in Cape Girardeau for a SAFE exam. A forensic interviewer spoke with both children.
The following day a detective picked up McCanless and took him to the police department for an interview.
"On the way to the police station, Mr. McCanless kept telling me that he didn't mess with [the victim] and wouldn't do anything to hurt her," the detective stated in court documents. "I told Mr. McCanless that I never mentioned anything about a girl."
Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.