A Butterfield man is accused of punching a 4-year-old child in the face.
David Allen Wilmes, 49, was charged Wednesday in Watonwan County Court with felony domestic assault and malicious punishment of a child, a gross misdemeanor.
A criminal complaint says the girl’s mother called police after her daughter reported being hit by Wilmes, who is the live-in boyfriend of the woman’s mother-in-law. The child was staying with the couple at the time of the alleged incident.
The mother-in-law denied in text messages that she knew anything about the incident, says the complaint.
The child told investigators she had been running around the house when Wilmes punched her with a closed fist on the side of her face. Wilmes’ girlfriend was angry he had hit the child, according to the complaint, but failed to take the girl to a hospital. The 4-year-old reported her face hurt for two days afterward, say court documents.
Police say the girl’s older sibling witnessed the assault and provided a nearly identical account.
The charging document said the girl had light bruising around her eyes and head.
Wilmes’ denied hitting the girl, according to the criminal complaint. Neither he nor his girlfriend returned calls from investigators asking for a statement.
Police say Wilmes has two previous convictions for 5th-degree assault.