June 22, 2018
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Man arrested after 7-year-old tells school staff his dad ‘tried to break his back’

Waldo County Sheriff's Office | BDN
Waldo County Sheriff's Office | BDN
James Kuhn
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BROOKS, Maine — When a 7-year-old boy came to school in tears on Friday, it caused his teachers to ask some questions.

What they — and the police — learned led to his father’s arrest on two counts of felony domestic violence assault, according to Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

The second-grader told concerned personnel at the Morse Memorial School that his father had “tried to break his back,” Trafton reported Tuesday. In response, Regional School Unit 3 Superintendent Heather Perry contacted Deputy Nick Oettinger of the sheriff’s office, who interviewed the boy and determined that it was a valid case.

“The boy had bruises on his back from where he’d been kicked,” Trafton said.

Oettinger contacted the boy’s mother, who does not live with his father, and asked her to pick up her son. He also left instruction at the school that James Kuhn, 28, of Brooks, would not be able to get the boy. Later that day, Kuhn was arrested and charged with the domestic violence assault. The charges were elevated to felony counts because Kuhn had a previous conviction of domestic violence assault in 2009, Trafton said.

Kuhn was taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast, where he was booked, Trafton said. Jail personnel said that he has since paid his cash bail of $2,500, and left the facility.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.


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