Las Cruces man accused of spanking stepson multiple times with belt

Las Cruces News

A Las Cruces man is in jail for allegedly spanking his young stepson several times, leaving visible bruising on the boy’s body.

According to a news release, Joshua Salais, 23, is charged with one count of child abuse — a third-degree felony.

Police say the boy, 7, went to the school nurse’s office on October 22 after having trouble sitting down.

The nurse discovered that he had black and purple bruises on his buttocks, according to the release. He indicated that he was injured by his stepfather, Salais, who recently spanked him. 

The boy said his mother had to intervene to stop his stepfather from spanking him.

Police later learned that Salais used a belt on the boy’s bare skin eight to 10 times over the last two weeks. 

According to release, investigators also discovered bruising, in different stages of healing, that were consistent with allegations of the boy being struck hard, multiple times over several days.

Police say custody of the boy has since been turned over to his grandmother.

Salais was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.

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