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A 38-year-old Salem man pleaded guilty Monday to injuring a child he was caring for in Benton County.

Justin Matthew Huff should spend 18 months on bench probation and serve 12 days on the county work crew, Circuit Court Judge David Connell decided.

Prosecutors charged Huff in February with first-degree criminal mistreatment, a felony. Huff pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, as part of a plea agreement. The felony charge has been dismissed.

Deputy District Attorney Kristen Farnworth said the victim is a “special needs child.” Farnworth did not offer details on the assault.

The charging document states Huff caused physical injury to the child in May 2015, when the boy was 4 years old, according to court records.

The judge said Huff may only have contact with the child as allowed by the Department of Human Services.

Court records show Huff has faced similar charges in Marion County. Prosecutors there charged Huff in March with attempted first degree criminal mistreatment, a misdemeanor, for an incident that occurred in January. Huff pleaded guilty to that charge in June, according to court records. A judge sentenced Huff to 18 months on bench probation, court records show.

Huff must also complete domestic violence treatment, according to court records.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 


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