A Powell man is facing charges of child abuse, accused of throwing an 8-year-old child against a wall by the child’s throat and lifting the child up by ears.
Rudy DeHaan, 38, is currently in custody with a $10,000 cash-only bond set during his initial hearing last Tuesday. If found guilty for the felony, DeHaan could receive up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
“The safety of this child is very concerning to the state,” said Saige Smith, Park County prosecuting attorney.
Investigators spoke with Dr. Aaron Billin, a Powell Valley emergency physician and the county health officer, whom the minor made claims to. Billin and Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Neal Corr said there were bruises and scratches on the child’s forehead and ligature marks on the child’s neck consistent with the child’s story. Billin said this incident “is as clear as it gets” regarding abuse.
Department of Family Services Caseworker April Patterson said the child attributed the injuries to DeHaan, and the child’s aunt said this story was consistent with what she heard from the child’s four siblings who were all at home during the incident.
During an interview with deputies, DeHaan admitted to striking the child in the face. He said he hit the child when he became defiant about being asked to clean his room. DeHaan did not admit to any of the accusations involving grabbing of the throat or ears.
On his record, DeHaan has been convicted for breach of peace and unlawful contact without bodily injury each twice, four driving under the influence of alcohol citations, two felony larceny charges and a charge for aggravated robbery.
During his initial hearing, DeHaan claimed he’s never held a job and receives his only income from Social Security disability benefits.
DeHaan was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Monday.
(Zac Taylor contributed to this report)