BELFAST, Maine — The man accused of kicking his 7-year-old son in the back and using an animal shock collar to discipline the boy and his sister has been formally indicted by the Waldo County grand jury.
James Kuhn, 28, of Brooks was indicted this week on five counts of Class C domestic violence assault.
The alleged abuse came to light at the end of March when the boy went to school in tears one morning. When his teachers at the Morse Memorial School asked him why he was crying, the boy told them that his father had ‘tried to break his back,’ Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said in early April.
Regional School Unit 3 Superintendent Heather Perry contacted Deputy Nick Oettinger, who works in the schools, and he interviewed the boy and determined it was a valid case. The boy said that he’d been repeatedly kicked in the leg, back and head, police said, and that his father used the shock collar to discipline him and his sister.
Trafton said that the boy had bruises on his back from where he’d been kicked. The deputy contacted the boy’s mother, who does not live with his father, and asked her to come get her son. The chief deputy also left instruction at the school that Kuhn not be allowed to pick up the boy.
Kuhn was arrested March 28 and charged with domestic violence assault. The charges were elevated to felony counts because he had a 2009 conviction for domestic violence assault.
Custody of both children was turned over to the mother. Kuhn was released on $2,500 cash bail, with conditions that forbid him from having contact with his children.