A Godfrey man was charged Monday in Madison County Circuit Court with two felony charges of aggravated battery to a child, according to a press release from Madison County Sheriff Robert J. Hertz.
Police identified the man as Jessie J. Garcia , a.k.a. “J.J.”, 22, of the 6000 block of Vollmer Lane.
On Friday, May 2, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office responded to West Elementary School, 1513 State St., Alton, in reference to a child abuse complaint. Deputies met with the school principal and an investigator with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), who was already on scene. The deputy was told school officials called DCFS after noticing an unusually large amount of bruising on the body of a 6-year-old student. The child’s back reportedly was covered in bruises.
Sheriff’s investigators responded and conducted an investigation. The child was placed in protective custody. Investigators developed evidence identifying the child’s stepfather, Jessie Garcia, as the person responsible for the bruising. Investigators learned that Garcia had struck the child with a belt and curtain rod, after the child got in trouble for standing up on a school bus.
Deputies located Garcia on Sunday, May 4, and took him into custody. Garcia was transported to the Madison County Jail, where he was held pending a formal review of facts by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The felony warrant and information was signed by Judge Richard Tognarelli, who set bond at $250,000.