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Man charged with slapping infant

An Austin man who allegedly slapped an 11-month-old infant, resulting in bruising, made his first appearance on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

David Chavez Huacuja, 27, has been charged with felony malicious punishment of a child – under four years of age, felony third-degree assault – child under four years of age – and misdemeanor domestic assault. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the court complaint, an Austin police detective received a child abuse report on March 6 involving Huacuja and an 11-month-old male victim. The victim’s mother initially reported the abuse to Mower County Human Services (MCHS), who then contacted the Austin Police Department.

The detective interviewed Huacula on March 9. Huacuja said that on approximately Feb. 24, he was home alone with three children, including the victim. He stated that he was downstairs when he heard the victim wake up and start crying. He went upstairs and found that the victim had defecated in his diaper and excrement got on the victim’s back. Huacuja said he was irritated by the situation, but he began to clean the victim. While he was changing the victim’s clothes, the victim began urinating on him. Huacuja said he got upset and he slapped the victim’s face with his left hand, which caused the victim to cry, and that bruising on the victim’s face appeared a few days after the incident.

The detective spoke with the victim’s mother on March 24. She said she first noticed the bruising on the victim’s face on Feb. 23. When she asked Huacuja about it, he denied hitting the victim, but then admitted it after one of the other children at the residence told her she saw Huacuja hit him. She photographed the victim’s injuries and then reported the abuse to MCHS.

The victim’s mother also said that Huacuja had previous anger issues and would get angry and lose control of his emotions.

The detective observed the photographs of the victim’s injuries, which consisted of bruising on the right side of his face from his forehead to his chin.

Huacuja’s pre-trial has been scheduled for April 9.