A Putnam County man who recently completed his third tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Iraq is now in trouble with the law, accused of abusing his 5-month-old daughter.
Shawn M. Sims, 26, Greencastle, was arrested Monday morning after admitting to police that he became frustrated because the baby wouldn't stop crying and struck her several times, causing bruising on her buttocks and genital area.
Sims appeared before Putnam County Judge Robert Lowe Monday afternoon where he pleaded not guilty to battery on a child. The judge set his bond at $50,000 and scheduled a pretrial conference for 8:15 a.m. July 20.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Sims was at home with his daughter on Saturday evening while his wife, the baby's mother, was at work. While changing the baby's diaper, Sims admitted to becoming frustrated and angry because the baby was fussy.
He told police he "just snapped" and "spanked the baby two or three times with his right hand" on her buttocks and genital area. He said he left the room to cool off and then returned to give the baby a bottle and put her to bed.
The baby's mother discovered the bruises the following evening while changing the baby's diaper, according to the police report. At first Sims denied causing the bruises, stating that the marks were a result of the baby sitting in a bouncy seat the previous day.
The baby's mother contacted police who then came to the home early Monday morning and examined the child.
Greencastle Police Det. Randy Seipel indicated in his report that he observed the baby's buttocks and genital area and says they were "severely bruised" and covered with "severe contusions" the size of a hand.
Doctors at the hospital examined the baby and determined the bruises were consistent with spanking. They also investigated a report that the baby had been sexually abused but found no physical evidence to support it.
When questioned by police, Sims admitted to spanking the child, stating that he had recently become frustrated with several aspects of his life and the fact that his wife had been working so much. He said this was the first time he had spanked his daughter.
On Monday, the judge order Sims not to have any further contact with his daughter.
He was returned to the custody of the Putnam County Jail where he remained on Tuesday morning.