Radcliff father pleads guilty to abusive spanking

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Charge amended to second-degree criminal abuse

By Sarah Bennett

A Radcliff man accused of abusing his 2-year-old son pleaded guilty Tuesday to an amended charge.

Ethan Stenhouse, 22, was arrested last April on a charge of first-degree criminal abuse after police said the child’s mother reported the 2-year-old had sustained extensive bruising on his buttocks while in Stenhouse’s custody.

Per an agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Stenhouse pleaded guilty Tuesday to an amended charge of second-degree criminal abuse.

Prosecutors recommended Stenhouse complete a five-year pre-trial diversion program, which includes anger management treatment and a mental health assessment. If he violates the diversion, Stenhouse will be required to serve three years in prison.

According to Radcliff Police Department, the child was with Stenhouse for a scheduled weekend visit when he spanked the toddler with an open hand.

He was arrested April 16 and released the following day on a partially secured bond.

During Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutors said the bruising to the boy’s body did not constitute a Class C felony and thus the charge was amended to second-degree criminal abuse.

Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton accepted the commonwealth’s motion to amend Stenhouse’s charge and set a formal sentencing for June 25. At that sentencing, the judge may accept or reject the plea agreement.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.