A 32-year-old St. Thomas man has been charged with punching a 6-year-old girl in the face.
Daimon Dacent of Oswald Harris Court housing community was charged Wednesday with aggravated assault and battery, and disturbance of the peace. Pursuant to the territory’s domestic violence law, he was held without bail until his advice-of-rights hearing in Superior Court on Friday.
On Tuesday, police responded to Schneider Hospital and interviewed a 6-year-old girl with “a black bruise to the bottom of her left eye,” according to an affidavit filed by police.
The child’s mother and her social worker from the V.I. Human Services Department were present, but the child seemed “shy or afraid to talk due to the surroundings and police being present,” so they arranged for an interview Wednesday .
The child said Dacent punched her in the face with a closed fist, and her siblings were present. The child, “concluded by stating that she told the nurse at school what happened to her eye,” according to the affidavit.
Police interviewed a sibling, who said Dacent told the victim while walking to their home that “when they reach the archway he was going to punch her,” and he did, “five times,” causing the child to start crying, according to the affidavit. Dacent, “then asked her younger sister” if the child “wanted one too.”
Investigators found that the child “missed school for a few days” because of the injury to her eye, “but as she returned to school she notified a school official of the assault.”
The child’s mother said Dacent told her the child injured her eye while riding a scooter, and she didn’t know he had punched the child “until the school notified her,” according to the affidavit.
Dacent declined to give a statement.
In court Friday, three family members appeared in support of Dacent. Territorial Public Defender Julie Todman said Dacent has no prior contact with the criminal justice system, and asked him to be released on an unsecured bond, as he will be living apart from the victim and her siblings.
Assistant V.I. Attorney General Brenda Scales asked that bail be set at $1,000 cash, and Magistrate Judge Carolyn Hermon-Percell agreed.
“The allegations of the probable cause fact sheet are disturbing, to say the least. Very disturbing. And the court saw the photographs,” Hermon-Percell said before setting bail at $1,000 “because he is facing a possible imprisonment of five years with the aggravated assault and battery, domestic violence.”
If Dacent is able to post bail and is released from jail while he awaits trial, the judge ordered him to have “no contact whatsoever” with the victim.
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