By Lisa Pett
A 28 year-old Stevens Point man was in a Portage County courtroom on Wednesday to face sentencing on felony child abuse charges.
Jared Holzhaeuser had previously pleaded no contest to charges that he beat his girlfriend’s 9 year-old daughter so severely that neighbors reported hearing “blood curdling screams” and called the police, according to court records.
On July 2, 2014 police responded to reports of screams and the sounds of a struggle when they arrested Holzhaeuser, who admitted to disciplining the girl in the home they shared despite his girlfriend’s pleas to stop.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Constable described it as a “severe beating”, estimating Holzhaeuser struck the girl 30-45 times. Constable said it was “an out of control, violent incident, not a spanking.”
The child’s mother said she tried to intervene but became afraid that Holzhaeuser would strike her as well.
Defense attorney Gary Kryshak said his client was “remorseful and knew that he did wrong”, but said Holzhaeuser was, in fact, encouraged to discipline what he described as “an out of control daughter.”
“What I did was appalling,” Holzhaeuser said in court. “I am full of regret and remorse and I am sorry for what I did.”
Due to his lack of criminal record and the fact that he could receive counseling and rehabilitative services within the community, Judge Finn stayed a three-year jail sentence, instead placing Holzhaeuser on probation. He also warned Holzhaeuser that if he failed to meet any of the conditions of his probation he would face “serious” jail time.
Holzhaeuser was given credit for six days served and ordered to stay away from the victim, her mother and their residence.