SCOTTSDALE, AZ - 5A Scottsdale man has been arrested for child abuse after he allegedly punished a stepson by grabbing his throat and choking him.
According to court documents, the child told a school official that his stepfather had hurt him.
In the document, police reported the victim is missing half of both his front teeth and had bruises on both his ams.
The victim originally told police he couldn't tell them what happened because it a "little secret." He said his parents had told him to tell people he'd fallen.
Eventually, the child told police that during summer vacation his stepdad had become upset when the boy's brother knocked a television over.
The man, identified as 25-year-old Sean Michael Donahoe, grabbed the victim by the throat until he nearly passed out and then dropped him to the floor. The boy reported he then "blacked out" and then next thing he remembered was his mother picking him up and taking him to the bathroom.
Donahoe apologized to the boy and told him not to tell anyone about the incident, that it was "their little secret," according to police.
The boy also reported he was afraid of his stepfather who allegedly frequently hit him with a waffle ball bat and calls him "stupid" all the time.
He also said another sibling bites him all the time and Donahoe encourages it. Police found bite marks and bruises on the child's arms, neck back and hand.
The boy told police Donahoe also hit and punch three other young children in the household.
Police said the conditions at the house were "deplorable" and not safe for the children.
Child Protective Services took custody of the four children.
Donahoe reportedly refused to speak to police and called the victim a liar. Police reported he has a domestic violence history with other members of the family.
A spokesperson for the Scottsdale Police Department told ABC15 that police have been out to the home eight times just this year though details about the calls were not available.
Donahoe also has a prior child abuse case with the same victim from 2007.
According to court records obtained by ABC15, X-rays and a CT scan revealed the boy suffered "nonaccidental hematoma to his brain."
While being interviewed by police, an officer noted the boy had "badly bruised and swollen eyes and nose and was missing large clumps of hair from his head."
Despite the boy's injuries, ABC15 learned charges in the 2007 case were eventually dismissed.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said information uncovered in the follow-up investigation indicated alternative explanations for the boy's injuries which were at odds with the original version of events, making it nearly impossible for the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Donahoe actually caused the boy's injuries.
The boy was later allowed to return home with Donahoe.
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