JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A judge found probable cause Friday to charge a Jonesboro man with second-degree domestic battering after police said he beat a five-year-old girl with a belt, causing "extreme bruising."
According to court documents, the victim told her after-school teachers she was afraid to go home because she had gotten into trouble that day and "that she didn't want another spanking when she got home."
The child reportedly told her teacher she "got spanked a lot."
She then showed the woman her upper leg and buttocks, which were said to have "extensive yellow, black, purple, and brown bruising."
In addition to being spanked, the girl also claimed that on the days she got into trouble, 25-year-old Jacob Nathaniel Henderson would not let her eat "real food." Instead, she said he would only let her eat peanut butter before sending her to bed.
When Henderson arrived at the school to pick up the child, Officer Nathaniel Cole met with him and asked if he would answer some questions.
After being read his Miranda rights, Henderson reportedly admitted he had spanked the child several times recently with a belt.
When asked if he had seen the damage that he had inflicted, Henderson replied he had not.
The Department of Children and Family Services was contacted and an agent arrived on the scene. After seeing the extent of her injuries, she took the child into DCFS custody.
Cole arrested Henderson and took him to the Craighead County Detention Center to await a probable cause hearing.
On Friday, Craighead County District Court Judge David Boling stated probable cause existed at the time of Henderson's arrest to charge him with second-degree domestic battering, a Class C felony. If convicted, Henderson could be sentenced to 3-10 years in prison and fined as much as $10,000.
Boling set Henderson's bond at $2,500 cash or surety and ordered him to appear in circuit court on Sept. 29.
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