Jonathn Carlton Erickson, 29, Little Falls, was sentenced in Morrison County District Court to five years of probation on Dec. 30, 2020, after he was convicted of third degree assault on a victim under age 4.

The conviction stems from an incident which occurred on Aug. 25, 2020.

According to the criminal complaint, the Little Falls Police Department was contacted on Aug. 26, 2020, by a person reporting that a 2-year-old child was brought to the hospital the previous day for several injuries that were suspicious in nature.

The reports indicated that the child was brought to the emergency room by his mother and father, who are separated. The child’s mother lives with another adult male, identified as Erickson, who was watching the child at the time the injuries occurred.

Hospital staff indicated that the victim had a 2-centimeter-long and 4-centimeter-deep laceration to his forehead, an oval bite mark on his right cheek, bruises scattered throughout his chest and arms along with another bite mark on his left forearm. Hospital staff suspected abuse.

An officer met with the child’s mother, who indicated that on Aug. 25, 2020, she was at work at the time the injuries had occurred. She told law enforcement she did not believe Erickson would do anything to harm the child, and that she believed he may have fallen off of the dresser or hit his face on a doorknob.

When interviewed by police, Erickson initially claimed he did not know what happened to the child, stating that he heard a loud crash followed by screaming and crying. After he was confronted about the bite marks, Erickson admitted that he caused the injuries. He told law enforcement that he and the child’s mother were arguing prior to her going to work, and that he was having difficulty getting the child to bed.

He admitted that “out of frustration” he did bite the child on his cheek. He later stated that he thought the injuries to the child’s head must have been caused by hitting a bedpost when Erickson threw the child onto the bed.

As part of a plea agreement, another felony charge stemming from the incident was dropped. Erickson also received credit for 126 days served in jail.

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