A Las Cruces man is in jail for allegedly hitting his girlfriend’s young daughter and leaving bruises.
According to a news release, Isaac Karnell Payne, 28, is charged with one count of negligent child abuse, a third-degree felony.
Police say officers were dispatched to Payne’s home Thursday night after his girlfriend’s mother noticed a large bruise on the side of the 6-year-old victim’s face.
According to investigators, Payne said that he had spanked the girl in his car for allegedly misbehaving at an after-school event.
He claimed he only spanked her in her buttocks area and that the facial bruise was from a seatbelt buckle, despite appearing to be in the shape of a hand.
“Ain’t no one did nothing to that f—ing little girl,” Payne reportedly said after investigators asked him to explain the marks.
Police say the girl’s mother defended Payne, her boyfriend of one year, and told investigators that she’s “fine” with letting him discipline her children.
She also said she was not concerned about her daughter’s injury. When told Payne would be charged with child abuse, she reportedly seemed to be more concerned about her boyfriend than her children, according to the release.
The victim and her two siblings are now in safe placement as detectives continue their investigation. Additional charges are possible.
Payne is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center without bond.