A Billings man has been charged with felony assault on a minor for spanking his 2-year-old son and causing what prosecutors called serious injury.
Troy Robin Anthony Villa, 25, appeared Thursday in Justice Court by video from the county jail. Judge Pro Tem Brandon Hartford set bond at $15,000 after a prosecutor said the man is accused of "inflicting serious injury" to the child.
According to court records, the boy's mother reported to Billings police last Oct. 15 that she found significant bruising on her son's buttocks after picking up the child from his father's house. The boy said his father hit him, but Villa allegedly told the woman their son had fallen off a horse during his five-day visit.
The woman said she and Villa have a parenting plan, and she should have been asked to allow her son to participate in horseback riding.
A doctor who examined the boy at Billings Clinic told police the bruise appeared to be from a strike with a hand and not from a fall from a horse. The injury also appeared to be "consistent with a pinch" and "characteristic of a hand print," court records said the doctor reported.
Villa is scheduled to be arraigned in District Court on June 8.