By GARY POPP
NEW ALBANY —
A New Albany man accused by a 5-year-old of physically abusing her 2-year-old sister is in jail on a $200,000 court-cash bond.
David A. Banet, 28, of 1126 Beeler St., has been charged in Floyd County Superior Court with D felony battery resulting in bodily injury. Banet is believed by authorities to have forcefully grabbed the child’s face and bitten her lip on or about May 3. According to the probable-cause affidavit filed by the New Albany Police Department, Banet is the boyfriend of the children’s mother and shares a home with the family.
Police met with a Department of Child Services employee, who stated that she had received reports that the 2-year-old girl had been abused. The girl’s mother also talked with police about how the child’s face was bruised. She told the officers that her older sister “plays really rough” with her and that she falls down a lot. She also told police that Banet lives in the home and that he was not responsible for her daughter’s injuries.
Police then spoke with the 5-year-old outside the presence of her mother. The child stated that Banet had grabbed and bitten her younger sister’s face.
The officer then spoke with the mother again and asked her why her older daughter would claim Banet committed the abuse. The mother said she didn’t know.
“I told her [the mother] that she needed to be honest with me, and she told me that she saw David [Banet] grab [her daughter’s] face about three days ago and squeeze it,” the officer noted in the affidavit. “She stated that she is scared of [Banet] and afraid of what he may do to her if she told on him.”
The mother told police that she and Banet had gotten into an argument after he grabbed the child’s face.
Police then went to the home and found Banet.
When asked how the child’s face was bruised, Banet said he didn’t know, according to the affidavit. He also told police that the girl’s older sister plays rough with her and that she falls down.
“[Banet] stated that he already has a case open for child abuse with DCS, but advises that he would never touch a child,” according to the affidavit.
Banet appeared in court Monday where he was appointed a public defender. He is scheduled to next appear before a judge June 18.