A 28-year-old Worthington man faces a felony battery charge after he allegedly struck a five-year-old girl in the face hard enough to cause bruising because she was crying for her Mom.
Dustin J. Stahl was arrested Nov. 20 by Worthington Town Marshall Don Richardson after he was questioned by police and a Department of Family Services caseworker.
Stahl posted $400 cash bond and was given a summons to appear in Greene Superior Court at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 for an initial hearing where he will be formally charged with battery resulting in bodily injury to a minor under the age of 14 ---- a class D felony.
The Nov. 19 incident was reported to the police the next day by the girl's biological father and grandmother. The father noticed the girl's bruised left eye on Nov. 20 when he picked her up at a Bloomfield daycare center.
The young victim allegedly told authorities that Stahl was baby-sitting her at a Terre Haute Road residence while her mother was at the beauty shop.
"She advised that she was in her bed crying for her mommy, when Dustin (Stahl) came into the room and smacked her at least twice in face and yelled at her to shut up," Marshal Richardson wrote in the probable cause affidavit filed with the court on Monday.
Stahl also allegedly walked out of the room after hitting the child, shut the door, leaving her in the dark.
The small girl told police that she was scared of the dark.
The victim also said Stahl had previously struck her in the face and stomach at different times.
The young girl also told police that her mother put makeup on her face the next day to hide the bruising and 'black eye' and said if anyone asked her what had happened, she was to tell them that it was an accident, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The mother said she questioned Stahl about her daughter's injury, but he told her he had only swatted her on the buttocks after she got made because he was looking into her backpack.
During an interview with police, Stahl denied hitting the girl in the face and said he 'had no idea' how the facial injuries occurred and 'thought she could have rolled around in bed and struck her eye on the bed post or something', according to the probable cause affidavit.
"Dustin stated that he would never hit a child in the face and only uses corporal punishment when it is needed," Marshal Richardson wrote in the probable cause affidavit.