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**Updated 8:30 p.m. Feb. 20
A 30-year-old Caledonia man was given a $5,000 signature bond and told to stay away from the six-year-old boy he is accused of hitting.
Michael Kaprelian was supposed to have his initial appearance two weeks ago, but it was postponed until Thursday because his lawyer was in trial. Now there is another wait – until Feb. 27 – because the defendant told the court he hasn’t heard back from his attorney.
Court Commissioner John Bjelajac assigned Kaprelian a $5,000 signature bond with the conditions that he not have any contact with the alleged victim or the boy’s family and home and that he get fingerprinted and have his photographs taken.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to a local school Nov. 19 for a report of child abuse. When investigators arrived, they spoke to the boy – reported to be autistic but able to communicate – who told them the defendant hit him the night before.
Police say they could see noticeable bruising to both of the child’s temples and scratches on one side of his head.
When officers located Kaprelian, he admitted to striking the child because the boy “was acting up,” but he didn’t think he could have caused the type of bruising police described. The defendant also stated he informed the child’s mother of the incident and that he often uses slaps and “flicks” to discipline the boy, the complaint reads.
Officers say they spoke to the boy’s mother who said she knew about the slap, but she did not see bruising on his face when she left for work early that morning.
The next day, nurses at the Racine Child Advocacy Center examined the boy and advised police that they found additional bruising on the child’s body, the complaint reads. They also made note that the boy’s facial injuries were concerning because of the possibility of brain injury.
Kaprelian faces up to six years in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines if convicted.