CLAYTON, Mo. — A St. Louis County police officer has been suspended without pay and charged with a felony after police said he struck his 10-year-old son multiple times with a belt.
Sean Liddell, 34, was charged Monday with third-degree domestic assault for the incident, which happened Dec. 5, 2019, according to University City police.
Liddell struck his son with a belt, which caused pain, abrasions and bruising, at his University City home, according to court documents.
The child reported the assault to a school employee, and, during a forensic interview, school employees and police officers saw bruises. The marks can also be seen on photographs taken on the date of the report, according to the documents.
Liddell was living with his son at the time of the incident, according to the documents.
Prosecutors issued a summons for Liddell, and his first court date is set for December.
The officer’s attorney, Gabe Crocker, said his client had been with the St. Louis County Police Department for about a year.
"Matters concerning the discipline of a child by a parent can be concerning and always deserve the full attention of our criminal justice system when appropriate. Sadly, my client was charged for one reason and one reason only -- he is a police officer. My client will plead not guilty to this charge and we look forward to our day in court."
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell’s lead prosecutor, Dana Mulhauser, signed the documents. She heads up the Conviction and Integrity Unit.
Bell issued a statement saying the independent unit within his office "investigates and prosecutes criminal activity by law enforcement."