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Martinsburg man charged with abusing 9-year-old

December 09, 1998|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man was arraigned on a felony child abuse charge Wednesday after a 9-year-old boy told police his head had been shoved into a bathroom wall, causing him to cough up blood, according to allegations contained in court records.

Robert Jay Harper, 29, was charged in Berkeley County Magistrate Court with felony child abuse resulting in bodily injury and misdemeanor domestic battery, according to court records.

Harper was released on $3,067 bond.

According to court records, Martinsburg City Police went to 622 Second St. in Martinsburg Tuesday in response to a domestic complaint.

A woman in the home told police the boy's assailant had hit the boy Sunday during an argument, according to court records. The boy and his mother said the assailant shoved the boy's head into a bathroom wall and grabbed the woman's hair and beat her head into the wall, according to allegations in court records.

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The boy told police the second incident happened Tuesday while the boy was playing with his dog, according to court records. The boy said his assailant picked him up by the shirt and threw him to the floor, according to court records.

Police said the boy had swelling around both eyes, bruises on his knees and scratches on the back of his neck and his chest, according to court records.

Court records said the boy and his mother had been living with Harper for three months.

Conviction on a felony child abuse charge carries a fine of $100 to $1,000 and up to five years in prison or one year in jail. A conviction on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge carries a $500 fine and/or a one-year jail sentence.

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