Shawn Byars, 37, is being held in the Hancock County jail on a felony child abuse charge.
Police Department Detective David Buckley said Byars was arrested December 8 for allegedly striking a stepchild under age 14 in the face with a closed fist.
Byars is expected to appear in court today or Tuesday for a bond to be set.
Byars was charged under amendments to state law that took effect in July 2013. Buckley said the law is more specific about what constitutes child abuse. The law specifies that a fist to the head or face would constitute felony child abuse if the victim is under 14. If the child is under 5, any blow to the head or face constitutes a felony.
Never miss a local story.
Buckley also said he is still investigating the case. Byars allegedly struck the child in November.