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Army veteran gets plea deal in child assault

LOCKPORT – An Army veteran who served three tours of combat duty in the Middle East will receive counseling before he is sentenced for beating his stepson.

Robert P. Jayes, 35, of Cedar Avenue, Niagara Falls, was allowed to plead guilty Friday to a misdemeanor, third-degree assault, for the June 10 incident with the 22-month-old boy whose buttocks were left black and blue after what appeared to have been a severe spanking. Jayes was living on 16th Street at the time, but Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III issued a restraining order barring Jayes from returning there.

Murphy lifted Jayes’ $10,000 bail and released him to receive treatment through the Veterans Administration. Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said he will try to connect Jayes to one of the mentors who work in Niagara County Veterans Court.

In another Niagara Falls child assault case last week, Judge Sara Sheldon order three years’ probation for Miche’la S. Wallace, 26, of South Avenue, who had pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for beating her then-5-year-old daughter with a belt June 15, 2015. The girl was placed in foster care.

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