Prescott man charged with child abuse
A Prescott man who allegedly struck a teenager several times in a dispute over the boy's housekeeping, faces a charge of felony child abuse.
Mark H. Nelson, 53, 334 N. Dakota St., has been ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 31.
Prescott police were dispatched around 8 a.m. Dec. 21 for a possible domestic/battery to a child, according to the criminal complaint. Upon arrival, a 14-year-old alleged that earlier in the day, Nelson grabbed him by the back of the neck. The child pushed Nelson away, but Nelson punched him with his right hand in the head three times above the left temple, which left a noticeable bump.
The youth added Nelson put him in a headlock as they rolled around the floor. He had to hit Nelson a number of times to escape and get help.
Officers then went to Nelson's residence but were unable to find him. He was found later at a Prescott tavern. He admitted to striking the boy, but did so because he wouldn't clean his room. He declined to discuss the matter further.
He was arrested and transported to the Pierce County Jail. He had his first court appearance the next day where a $3,000 signature bond was set. The child also signed a no contact order.
Online court records show Nelson being found guilty of two counts of disorderly conduct, battery and criminal damage to property in the last two years. This is his first felony charge.
If convicted of child abuse, Class C felony, sentencing guidelines suggest a maximum penalty of $100,000 and/or 40 years prison.