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Bruising on child's neck leads to arrest

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A Huntington man who suffers from PTSD episodes was arrested Friday and charged with battery on a child after a victim was allegedly choked, according to court records. 

Kenneth John Stokes, 27, is facing a Level 5 felony charge of battery on a person less than 14 years old where the child suffers bodily injury, according to court documents. The victim allegedly had bruising on his kneck after he was left in Stokes’ care, according to police reports. 

Stokes allegedly lifted the victim by his neck and pinned him against the wall, leaving marks which were observed by the person who reported the possible crime to the Department of Child Services and law enforcement. 

Stokes immediately called someone after the incident and reportedly said, “I snapped my PTSD, I did not mean to hurt (the victim), come home soon,” according to the probable cause affidavit. 

Stokes reportedly has episodes of PTSD where he convulses from “night terrors” and also acts as though he has a split personality. Stokes allegedly got PTSD from time spent oversees in the military, according to the report. 

Upon calling someone after the episode, Stokes said he knows that he needs to get help for his PTSD, according to the police report. Stokes said he has neglected to go to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Marion, Ind. because he fears that he will be taken to the mental hopital down the street. 

Level 5 felony charges carry sentences anywhere from one to six years to be served at Indiana Department of Corrections. Stokes is currently in custody at the Huntington County Jail awaiting trial on Friday, Nov. 9, at 8:30 a.m. in Huntington County Superior Court. 

Huntington County Circuit Court Judge Jamie Groves recused himself from the case, since he was a deputy prosecutor overseeing the case when it came to law enforcement’s attention in 2017.