KEARNEY — A judge has found a Kearney man guilty of intentional child abuse, including hitting one child with a bull whip so hard the child wet himself.
The 38-year-old man pleaded no contest in Buffalo County District Court to two counts of intentional child abuse, not causing seriously bodily injury, both felonies. The incidents happened in June.
In an effort to protect the victims, the Hub is not including the man’s name.
In exchange for the man’s plea the Buffalo County Attorney’s Office dismissed four similar felony child abuse charges.
A no contest plea is neither an admission nor denial of guilt, but the plea is treated the same as a guilty plea. Judge Ryan Carson accepted his plea and ordered the state probation department to do a presentence investigation.
Findings of that report — including background information on a defendant, family and criminal history, employment record and a substance abuse evaluation — will help Carson issue an appropriate sentence.
Sentencing will be held in May. The man remains in custody on a $20,000 bond.
On Oct. 26, the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services that a couple were assaulting their four children. The children were interviewed at the Family Advocacy Network in Kearney where records show there were various physical assaults.
The investigation revealed that in June the man had the children, between ages 6 and 10, line up with their pants off and they were all struck with a hiking stick. After being hit, records indicate, one child urinated himself from being scared, and the pain.
The bruising lasted at least three weeks on all the children, according to records.
The couple were interviewed, and the man was arrested and the woman was cited. The children were placed into the care and custody of DHHS.
The woman is charged in Buffalo County Court with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse of the same alleged victims in an October incident. Her case is pending.
The man faces up to six years in prison.