A Delaware County man accused of beating a 5-year-old mentally disable child was released from jail on Thursday, March 14 and ordered not to have any contact with the victim.
Jeremy Wayne Matthews, 40, of Eucha is charged in Delaware County District Court with child abuse by injury, a felony. He is free on $20,000 bail and ordered to return to court on April 2, online court records show.
The victim suffers from a Pontine Cerebellum Hypoplasia. This is a rare neurodegenerative disorder where parts of the brain such as the cerebellum are underdeveloped or absent, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website.
Photographs showed several bruises about two inches in width and about eight inches long on back of the victim’s leg. The bruising area covered the entire width of the child’s back thigh and was surrounded by purple coloring, scratches and faded bruises.
Matthews admitted to authorities he used a back scratcher and swatted the victim on the thighs.
During the course of questioning, Matthews said “he didn’t not hit him hard enough to leave any marks, that it was just a tap,” according to the arrest affidavit.
The victim’s mother told authorities the victim began screaming and Matthews came out of the bathroom, grabbed a wooden back scratcher and swatted the child on the back of the legs.
The mother then left with the victim and took him to the INTEGRIS Grove Hospital emergency room.
Matthews has a history of abusing juveniles. In 2000 a misdemeanor assault and battery was filed against him after he confessed to striking a teen boy on the head with his fist. Charges were dismissed, court records show.